Heat and altitude to test contenders for SA cross-country squad

2013-01-16 00:00

FRIDAY is the final day to submit entries for the SA Cross-country trials, set to take place at Boksburg Stadium on January 26.

The purpose is to finalise the teams for both the Southern Region Cross-country championships — which will be held in Lesotho in early March — and that in turn forms part of the final preparation for the national team who will go on to the World Cross-country Championships in Poland on March 24.

The heat and altitude will be considerably different conditions to the mud and cold that can be expected in Poland, but they do provide an opportunity for an assessment of fitness of the 24 athletes currently identified in the squad.

Typically, the final team will comprise six from each of senior men (12 km), junior men (eight kilometres), senior women (eight kilometres) and junior women (six kilometres).

Two KwaZulu-Natal athletes, Ayanda Mncube (junior men) and Putseletso Dladla (senior women), have been named in the initial squad and will be hoping to secure their place following the trials.

The cross-country trials are open to any athlete looking to challenge for a place or simply looking to test their fitness.

The cost is R30 and should be done through the KZNA offices by tomorrow.

In what has been described as a “long overdue development”, the SA marathon championships in Oudtshoorn on February 3 combines both the senior and SA Masters Athletics (Sama) championships.

Every runners over 30 years now qualifies in five age groupings for the Sama championships and is sure to improve standards in the country as runners look for provincial and international opportunities through the masters body.

The KZN team to the event is:

Women: Melanie van Rooyen, Kerry Koen, Debbie Perry, Suzette Botha, Lien Botha.

Men: Richard Dlamini, Petros Sosibo, Peter Sehloho Shaun Meiklejohn, Eloi de Oliveira, Michael Langa, Bongani Ndlovu, Roger Bailey.

Clubs and race organisers are reminded that there will be a training clinic at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium on January 26 at 9 am. All clubs organising a race in 2013 must attend one of the clinics, which commenced in Newcastle in December last year and have been around the regions prior to this one in Durban. The KZNA office has more details.

Sibonela Duma was the unchallenged winner of the Ronnie Davel 16 km, which opened the KZN racing season. The Boxer athlete took 56 minutes and 37 seconds to complete the hilly dirt and forest road around the Mondi plantation leaving Bluff Meats Samuel Kaptu over 600 m adrift, with Malibongwe Dlamini in third place.

Dasiy Cheroni took the ladies race in one hour, 11 minutes and 43 seconds, finishing one minute clear of Nedbank’s Patricia Bahlmann, with Danelle Adlam third in one hour 13minutes 10 seconds.

This Sunday’s race is the Jonsson Kearsney Striders 21,1 km, which commences from the college grounds at 6 am. Donald Bentley has more details at 082 777 6393

The popular Scottburgh Half-marathon, which was scheduled for February 3, has been cancelled by the club. Gordon Hutton has more details at 031 266 9238.

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