SA Cross Country Champs: Mashele and Xaba to defend titles

Local distance-running stars Precious Mashele and Glenrose Xaba are favourites to defend their national titles at the 2019 Athletics SA Cross Country Championships at Uitsig High School, Centurion, on Saturday.

Mashele, who finished 16th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus earlier this year, is set to lead the Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) team in the senior men’s 10km race.

The other contenders for the SA Cross Country crown

He is expected to face challenges from the likes of Thabang Mosiako of Athletics Central North West (ACNW) and track specialist Flavio Sehohle (Athletics Mpumalanga).

Xaba will defend the senior women’s 10km title she won in Port Elizabeth last year, after being included in the Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) team.

bd6f457a glenrose xaba - SA Cross Country Champs: Mashele and Xaba to defend titles
PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 08: Kesa Molotsane of Free State and Glenrose Xaba of AGN in the senior women’s 10km during the 2018 ASA Cross Country Championships at Nelson Mandela Bay University on September 08, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

This also featured Aynslee van Graan who has returned home after competing on the US collegiate circuit in recent years.

They are up against a field which also includes marathon runners Cornelia Joubert (CGA) and Zintle Xiniwe of Western Province Athletics (WPA).

ae90ce10 zintle xiniwe - SA Cross Country Champs: Mashele and Xaba to defend titles
MIDDELBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 29: Zintle Xiniwe of Western Province during the 2018 ASA 10KM Championship at Kees Taljaard Stadium in Middelburg on September 29, 2018 in Middelburg, South Africa. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

In the senior men’s 4km race, a hard-fought battle is expected by a line-up featuring the likes of middle-distance stars Rantso Mokopane (ACNW), Jerry Motsau (ACNW), Marko Bucarizza (CGA), Derocious Makhobalo (CGA) and Anthony Timoteus (WPA).

Van Graan is gearing up for a double attempt, after being included in the field for the senior women’s 4km race, where she is due to meet track ace, Anuscha Nice of Mpumalanga (AMPU).

“Cross country is one of our most exciting events and we are looking forward to another exciting edition. 

“We believe it’s will be a hard-fought contest,” said Aleck Skhosana, president of Athletics South Africa. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *