Last chance to cut into IAAF meeting

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Stephen Mokoka and Boy Soke are among athletes who have been drafted into the national squad for the IAAF Road Race Championships to be held in Brazil on October 12.

The championship will be held in Rio de Janeiro and Athletics South Africa (ASA) believes the selected athletes will make the country proud in the eagerly-awaited event.

Others in the squad are Jeffrey Gwebu, Tshamano Setone, Lindikhaya Mthangayi, Enos Matelane, Zintle Xiniwe, Annerien van Schalkwyk and Ntombesintu Ntshiliza.

The squad was selected after the successful Nedbank South Africa Half-Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth on July 5.

Mokoka caused a stir in Port Elizabeth when he beat the acclaimed Hendrick Ramaala to win the title.

Soke and Setone came third and fourth respectively. Gwebu, Mthangayi and Matelane were the next three South Africans to cross the finish line.

Molatelo "Professor" Malehopo, ASA's acting general manager, said athletes who failed to qualify for the Brazilian event still had an opportunity to be selected in the final squad.

Their last chance will be in the national 10km championships in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, on August 30.

"We urge athletes to come in numbers and compete [in the Stellenbosch race] because we don't want to leave deserving athletes out for the IAAF event," Malehopo said.

For male athletes to secure themselves tickets to Brazil they will need to finish the Stellenbosch race under the time of 28 minutes, 30 seconds. Women participants will have to come in below the time of 33:30.

Athletes who fail to achieve these times may still be selected into the team at the discretion of the ASA.