3 500 athletes ready for ASA event

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Athletics South Africa (ASA's) Cross-Country Championships will offer enthusiasts from the Witbank area in Mpumalanga something to talk about when more than 3500 athletes compete in the event on Saturday

Those who will participate in the event at Lesedi Village from 8.30am are from 17 regions and will compete in the 4km, 6km, 8km and 12km races.

ASA will use the event to select a provisional squad for the World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland, in March next year.

The national controlling body hopes to assemble a strong team to make South Africa proud in Scotland.

"We were impressed with the standard of those who represented us at this year's championships in Kenya in spite of hot temperatures," Molatelo Malehopo, ASA's development manager, said yesterday.

"They managed to complete their respective races and that proved that they have the potential to improve their performances.

"We hope some of the athletes who participated in Mombasa will make it to Scotland next year. The experience they gained in Kenya will definitely come in handy in their bid to do well next year.

"We will organise a training camp in Pretoria in December for the selected athletes as part of their preparations for the world event next year.

"We hope to enlist the services of an experienced coach to prepare the athletes. Another camp will be held in January."

Some of the athletes who represented the country in Kenya included Boy Soke, Tshamano Setone, Praxedis Dim, Cansas Nhlapo, Helen Phenyane and Jane Tuge.

Limpopo Athletics' president, Attlee Maponyane, has warned athletes from other provinces that their athletes were ready to "cause havoc" on Saturday.

"We have selected 400 strong athletes and we all have confidence that they will perform well on Saturday," Maponyane said.