Saturday, 26 January 2013 – SA Cross Country champion Elroy Gelant, won the 12km men’s trials at the Boksburg stadium after delivering a strong performance against a record number of athletes in the field.
The 26 year-old also won the trials the previous year in Potchefstroom and claimed the national title at the SA Cross Country Championships in Amanzimtoti. “I had everything under control from the start of the race,” said Gelant after his win. “It was just a bit of a disappointment not to see someone like Stephen Mokoka there.” Gelant’s main focus this year will still be on the track as a 5000m athlete, but for now all attention will be focussed on preparation for the World Cross Country Championships.
Kgosi Tsosane finished second while Desmond Mokgobu, Lucky Mohale and David Manja came in shortly afterwards. Lungisa Mdedelwa is the 6th athlete in the squad for the Southern Region Cross Country Championships taking place on 3 February in Lesotho.
Lebo Phalula claimed the top spot in the senior women’s race over 8km after beating the 27 year-old Mapaseka Makhanya. “I am not in good shape at the moment because I am still training,” said Phalula after the race. “It was also very hot and humid out there.”
Nolene Conrad did not reproduce her SA Cross Country Championships performance today and had to be satisfied with a third place finish. Mpho Mabuza and Christine Kalmer finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The junior men’s race was won by Namakoe Nkhasi from Central Gauteng Athletics while Creel Chavalala (also from CGA) and Rantso Mekopane (ACNW) finished second and third respectively.
Victory in the junior women’s race over 6km went to Nonhlanhla Dlamini from Central Gauteng Athletics. AMPU’s Glenrose Xaba finished ahead of Annie Bothma (WPA).
The teams for the Southern Region and World Championships will be announced after the Athletics SA board meeting this weekend.