FS athletes compete in big league

2019-04-03 06:00
Free State middle-distance athletes who represented South Africa at the 2019 IAAF World Cross-country Championships in Denmark on Saturday (30/03) are from the left Joshua Pholoana, Ngconde Matwebu, Kesa Molotsane and Pakiso Mthembu. Photo: Supplied

Free State middle-distance athletes who represented South Africa at the 2019 IAAF World Cross-country Championships in Denmark on Saturday (30/03) are from the left Joshua Pholoana, Ngconde Matwebu, Kesa Molotsane and Pakiso Mthembu. Photo: Supplied

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The ability of four Free State athletes to match international standards was tested at the 2019 IAAF World Cross-country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Kesa Molotsane, Joshua Pholoana, Ngconde Matwebu and Pakiso Mthembu represented South Africa at this international event staged on Saturday (30/03).

Molotsane was the only female athlete from the province in the South African team of five athletes that competed in the senior women’s 10 km.

Pholoana and Matwebu were in the junior team comprised of six athletes that competed in the men’s 8 km and Mthembu in the senior men’s team consisting of six athletes that competed in the 10 km.

Molotsane from Thaba Nchu proved she is worthy to compete in the big league, as she finished first, ahead of her teammates, in 39:31.

The South African senior women’s team attained 42nd position overall in the championship.

Matwebu, a learner from Welkom, ended in 32nd position behind his peers Robert de Villiers (in 27th position) and Maxime Chaumeton (28th).

Pholoana, a learner from Fauresmith, fell by the wayside in the stamina-demanding international contest.

The South African senior men’s team finished in position 12 overall and Precious Mashele from Gauteng was the star performer in the team, crossing the line in 33:05, taking 16th position.

The senior men’s team attained the third best position and this is the best ever achieved by a South African in the senior men’s contest. In the team was Mthembu from Tweeling.

The foursome Free State athletes were part of the South African team’s 22 top athletes that Athletics South Africa (ASA) had chosen to represent the country at the international competition.

They were included in the team on their merited individual performance at ASA’s cross-country championship held in Port Elizabeth during September last year.

They made it into the final team after impressive performances during preliminary cross-country trials staged in Pretoria in January this year.

The team of middle-distance runners were found to be in good shape after undergoing fitness tests in Potchefstroom.

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