By Thabiso Mazosiwe
WPA to battle it out at SA Champs in Nelson Mandela Bay
Cape Town – Western Province Athletics(WPA) is sending a strong contingent of 63 athletes to the 2018 ASA Cross Country Championships will be held at the Nelson Mandela University on Saturday, September 8.
The action-packed programme extends from 7.30am to 6pm and will include 28 races ranging in distance from 1km to 10km.
The team, consisting of 36 men and 27 women, will compete against host federation, Eastern Province Athletics(EP Athletics), who were selected to host the ASA Cross Country Championships this year with other top federations, such as Gauteng North and Central Gauteng, who were close rivals last year with 81 and 78 medals received respectively, also participating.
WPA Vice President, Jakes Jacobs was full of praise for the travelling team, “The Cross Country season ended on a strong note at our Championships held at CPUT Bellville on Saturday 18 August and seemed to bring out the best in our top athletes.“
“We wish all our athletes well, especially our champs in the IAAF categories – U20 champs, Christo van Rooy (ORAK) and Kayla De Waal (WPCC), and senior 10km champs, Akhona Makila (K-Way VOB) and Leanda Du Bruyn (Tygerberg). We wish them all the best and all the strength to fly the blue and white flag high.”
EP Athletics President, Selby Thabethe thanked their partners, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, for supporting the event and confirmed that the Eastern Province has entered 161 runners, who will be keen to compete on home ground against the best runners in the country.
“We encourage the public to support this popular event which caters for all runners from under 8 years to over 90 years, who have been selected to represent their provinces and we are looking forward to watching nearly 4000 top athletes compete in Port Elizabeth,” said Thabethe
Val Brentano, Cross Country Commission Chairperson for Central Gauteng, said that her team of 289 athletes will be spearheaded by Precious Mashele, who will be defending his Senior Men 10km title, backed up by Gladwin Mzazi who did not compete last year.
Buks Meyer, Cross Country Commission Chairperson for AGN, confirmed that their province had a large competitive entry of 665 athletes this year, headlined by Glenrose Xaba, winner of the senior women 10km, who will be defending her title with stiff competition.
The full programme will include six world championship selection events for senior men and women, junior men and women and girls and boys aged 16 and 17 years.
Spectators will be charged a small entry fee of R30 to view this world-class event. Food and refreshment vendors will also be available onsite.