Junior athletes Kabelo Seboko, Pakiso Mthembu and Simonay Weitsz were the top performers for the South African team on Sunday, all finishing among the top 30 in their respective races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda.
Seboko earned 24th position in the Under-20 Men’s 8km race in 24:54 and Mthembu finished 30th in 25:25, with Weitsz crossing the line in 26th place in the Junior Women’s 6km battle.
In the Senior Men’s 10km event, Elroy Gelant went out hard and led at the first corner, but he fell off the pace and had to settle for 43rd position.
Experienced cross country runner David Manja was the first SA man home, grabbing 34th place in 30:16, and Joel Mmone finished a little further back in 37th spot.
Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya retained his title at the biennial showpiece, completing the race in 28:24.
Also contested over 10km, 39-year-old athlete Louisa Leballo was the best of the SA team members in the Senior Women’s race. She finished 33rd in 35:22, with Kesa Molotsane a little further back in 36th.
Irene Cheptai lifted the women’s crown in 31:57, leading a remarkable clean sweep as the top six places were filled by Kenyan athletes.
In the team standings, South Africa’s senior men finished ninth behind Australia. Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda took the podium positions for gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.
South Africa’s senior women finished ninth behind Peru in an event won by Kenya, followed by Ethiopia and with Bahrain taking the bronze.
In the Under-20 men and women’s category, South Africa were placed eighth, respectively.
In the picture, Pakiso Mthembu, Kabelo Seboko and Dais Malebana of South Africa take on the world’s best in the Under-20 race. Picture courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA