Central Gauteng Athletics have assembled a formidable team for this year's South African Marathon Championships in Durban on Sunday, CGA president Snowy Matthews said yesterday.
Matthews confirmed that they had roped in four top runners to boost the 40-member squad this season.
Former Soweto Marathon winner Simon Mpholo, Ntobeko Mtintso, Eunice Nhlapho and Jane Pooe will be making their debuts in the national championship.
Said an excited Matthews: "We have selected the best athletes to represent CGA in the national championships this season. We have also afforded an opportunity to those athletes who have never been exposed to the national championships to prove their talent.''
Reigning champion Poppy Mlambo and Dimakatso Menong, who finished eighth last year, have promised to give their best shot in the women's section. Both runners told Sowetan yesterday that they were geared up for the race after training hard for the past six months.
Gauteng Striders' Menong and her teammate Zongamele Dyubeni, who is in the men's team, have also been training hard under the watchful eye of top South African marathon runner Hendrick Ramaala.
The 2008 Dis-Chem Half-marathon winner, Johannes Kekana, will lead the men's team in the event.
The SA marathon championships is also a qualifier for the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing this year.
Squad: Senior men: Matthews Nkoana, Kekana, Charles Dibate Tjiane, Vincent Seng, Dyubeni, Mpholo, Ludwick Modibe Mamabolo, Lucas Morongoa Raseruthe, Themba Miya and Vusi Malobola.
Senior women: Menong, Eunice Nhlapho, Mlambo, Mpho Mabuza, Michelle Kellock, Belinda Waghorn and Pooe.