A fierce battle for places for the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships is expected at the national trials in Pretoria on Saturday.
Some of the country’s best athletes will be in action with both the men’s and women’s fields boasting some serious talent.
The senior men’s race will see national champion Precious Mashele go up against seasoned campaigner Elroy Gelant and track specialist Jerry Motsau.
The trio will be cautious of rising star Ryan Mphahlele, who will be looking to make it to his first senior world championships.
Mphahlele represented South Africa at the 2017 Kampala IAAF World Cross Country Championships as a junior finishing the race in 67th place.
The women’s race is also expected to be a mouth-watering affair with American-based athlete Dominique Scott-Efurd making a return to cross country racing.
She should expect a strong challenge from Kesa Molotsane, who won silver at the national championships last
The trials will start at 6.30am at the Tuks Sports Grounds on Saturday and will feature four races — the senior men’s and women’s 10km contests as well as junior men’s 8km and women’s 6km events.
The entry lists include 22 athletes that achieved the required criteria at last year’s Athletics SA Cross Country Championships as well as 41 individual athletes who have been entered by their provinces.
Following the ASA Cross Country Trials, a national squad will be announced ahead of the world championships to be held in Aarhus, Denmark on March 30.