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SA Team for African Cross Country Championships

South Africa’s 10 000m and Cross Country Champion Steven Mokoka and the Phalula twins spearhead the South African contingent to both the African Cross Country Championships in Cape Town on Sunday 6 March and the World Championships in Spain two weeks later on 20 March.

Lebogang Phalula

Lebogang Phalula

Mokoka comfortably won the SA title in September in 2010 and was runner up behind Kgosi Tsosane at the trial’s held in Potchefstroom on 21 January.  The result was in fact a position reversal of the SA Champs.

Lebogang Phalula and Annerien van Schalkwyk had tight battles at both the Championships and the trials and will be the pick of the ladies team; in fact the ladies team will look to them to challenge in the team category.

Both Mokoka and the Phalula girls will be racing in the 1 500m in the second Yellow Pages meeting of the series in Pretoria on Friday 25 February.  Mokoka is in sublime form after winning the Best Med 10km (29:32) road race in Pretoria on Saturday morning 19 February, then drove through to Potchefstroom to compete in the men’s 3 000m which he duly won in a time of 7:55;92.  Only four times was the eight minute mark beaten by a South African in 2010; all of those times were posted in Europe.

Mokoka did it in February in South Africa at altitude and he is fast becoming the man who will take over the mantle of South Africa’s premier middle distance athlete over distances ranging from the 1 500m to 10 000m on the track.  With his 61:26 half marathon time and 2:08;33 marathon time, Mokoka is a class athlete on any surface and he will be ignored at the rest of the continent’s peril come the African Cross Country Championships.

The Phalula twins are also clearly in shape, particularly Lebogang, for the first ever African Cross Country event to be held in South Africa.  The sisters competed in the European Cross Country season in December of last year and January this year with Lebogang finishing runner up in Fuensalida, Spain behind Kenya’s Eunice Jepkorir.

Her win at the trials showed she was the form athlete and the victory on Saturday 19 February in Potchefstroom at the Yellow Pages Meet over 3 000m is good preparation for the Cape Town event.  She and her sister, like Mokoka, will be racing the 1 500m in Pretoria on Friday 25 February as final preparation for the Cross Country Championships.

SA Team:

Senior Men:
Kgosi Tsosane
Steven Mokoka
Lungiswa Mdedelwa
Boy Soke
Xolisa Tyali
Tshamano Setone

Senior Women:

Lebogana Phalula
Annerien van Schalkwyk
Lebo Phalula
Mapaseka Makhanya
Teboho Masehla
Rene Kalmer

Junior Men:

William Kaptain
Merline Klaaste
Jeromy Andreas
Luyanda Qolo
Luxolo Mdzanga
Edwin Sesipi

Junior Women:

Letitia Snyman
Caroline Marandela
Thato Makhafola
Sylvia Tshetlanyane
Thandeka Manzana
Konzeni Gwegwe

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