A SOUTH African team of five men and three women departs today to participate in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham, England, on Sunday.
Athletes from 43 IAAF member countries have been entered for the championships. The team members are confident that they will improve on recent performances of South African teams at the Championships and, like the men's marathon team did at the World Championships in Berlin, promise to deliver solid performances in the team competitions.
Athletics SA has again engaged the services of experienced Kenyan coach Danson Muchoki to prepare the team, whose members have been hard at work in a training camp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.
Muchoki said the group had been working hard and that they are improving their fitness levels.
He is confident they will perform at their best at the championships and that the tactical drills should help them to secure good placings in the individual and team competitions.
The team is not short of international experience with Stephen Mokoka, Jeffrey Gwebu and Annerien van Schalkwyk having represented South Africa at last year's World Half Marathon Championships in Brazil.
The other team members have also rubbed shoulders with international runners.
The teams: Men: 1. Stephen Mokoka (AGN) 2. Mbozeni Ngxazozo (CGA) 3. Xolisa Tyali (CGA) 4. Olebogeng Masire (ACNW) 5. Jeffrey Gwebu (CGA) Women: 1. Annerien van Schalkwyk (AGN) 2. Rene Kalmer (CGA) 3. Poppy Mlambo (CGA) - Sapa