In-form distance runners Precious Mashele and Kesa Molotsane are set to spearhead the national squad at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark next month, with Athletics South Africa (ASA) announcing a 24-member preliminary team.
Aside from national champion Mashele, who won the SA trials in Pretoria last month, the seven-member contingent for the senior men’s 10km race also includes the likes of steeplechaser Rantso Mokopane, versatile athlete Thabang Mosiako, and rising stars Ryan Mphahlele and Kabelo Seboko.
The five-member provisional team for the senior women’s 10km race is led by Molotsane, who stunned pre-race favourite Dom Scott-Efurd to win the trials contest after being edged out by Glenrose Xaba in a late sprint at the national championships last year
Xaba, who missed the trials, has nonetheless been included in the squad.
In addition, six-member national preliminary teams have been unveiled for the junior men’s and women’s races at the biennial global championships.
All athletes in the squad will undergo a fitness test, ASA has confirmed, in Potchefstroom on March 2.
Preliminary SA team
Senior men (10km): Precious Mashele (CGA), Rantso Mokopane (ACNW), Pakiso Mthembu (AFS), Ryan Mphahlele (CGA), Kabelo Seboko (CGA), Thabang Mosiako (ACNW), Puseletso Mofokeng (ACNW)
Senior women (10km): Kesa Molotsane (AFS), Dominique Scott-Efurd (WPA), Jenet Mbhele (KZNA), Aynslee van Graan (AGN), Glenrose Xaba (AGN)
Junior men (8km): Realebogo Seopensengwe (CGA), Maxime Chaumeton (CGA), Robert to Villiers (ACNW), Tumi Lephotho (CGA), Joshua Pholoana (AFS), Ngconde Matwebu (AFS)
Junior women (6km): Carmie Prinsloo (AGN), Gene Coetzee (CGA), Danielle Verster (ACNW), Cara du Preez (ACNW), Prudence Sekgodiso (AGN), Nicole Louw (BOLA