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SA team for China

Central Gauteng road running stars Sibusiso Nzima and Irvette van Blerk head a 10-strong SA team announced by Athletics SA to compete at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, China on 16 October.

Free Staters in Boy Soke and Samuel Segoabe, plus Transkei’s Lungisa Mdedelwa and Zolani Ntongana of Western Province complete the men’s line up for action in China, while Van Blerk will be joined in the women’s race by national team-mates in Louisa Leballo and Thozama April (both Gauteng North), Zintle Xiniwe (Western Province) and Mpho Mabuza (Central Gauteng).

Following the SA Half Marathon Championships held in Port Elizabeth in July this year, Athletics SA selected 10 male and 10 female athletes as part of a preparation squad with the aim of delivering a quality national team to compete at the world half marathon championships.

These athletes ran in the SA 10km Championships, presented by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, held in Paarl last month. Athletics SA set a financial incentive payout for these athletes of R10 000 each for male athletes who dipped under 28 min 30 secs, and female athletes who ran faster than 34:00 at the national 10 km showpiece event.
All of Mdedelwa (2nd in 28:23) and Nzima (3rd in 28:29) and Van Blerk (first in 33:15), Xiniwe (second in 33:19), April (third in 33:53) and Central Gauteng’s Christine Kalmer (fourth in 33:53) cashed in on the incentives.

The national team to compete at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in China was finalised following last weekend’s CAA Southern Zone Half Marathon Championships held in Malawi, with the first five male and female finishers from the national squad automatically selected for the line up.

In wishing the national team the best of luck at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship event, Athletics SA Administrator Ray Mali said: ÔÇ£SA’s road running stars were able to compete with the best at the end of the 1990s and into the early part of this decade and ASA has worked closely with the talent that is available now, to be able to allow our athletes to every chance of restoring road running pride to our sports-loving country. May the class of 2010 take to the world stage with their performances set to inspire road runners throughout our country.ÔÇØ


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