Nkosinathi Sibiya and Boikanyo Motlhamme won two gold medals for the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in the 2023 Athletics South Africa (ASA) Cross Country Championship in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape. Faith Mabhena added a silver medal while Phemelo Note and Sisanda Dumisa won bronze medals for Team UJ in the championship on 16 September 2023.
This year, UJ sent sixteen student-athletes to the national cross country. Sibiya won his 4km race with a time of 00:11:48 in the senior men category while Motlhamme won the 2km race with a time of 00:05:49.
Mabhena finished in second place with a time of 00:07:24 in the junior women’s 2km race. Ntoe finished just two spots behind Sibiya winning a bronze medal with a time of 00:12:08. Regular podium finisher Dumisa added a bronze medal in the women’s senior 10km race with a time of 00:14:22.
“This year’s cross-country results were better compared to the 2022 outcomes. We obviously still have the University Sport South Africa (USSA) championship coming up later this year and that’s where I think the team can redeem themselves by winning more medals and improving the scores.
“Congratulations to Nkosinathi, Boikanyo, Faith and Sisanda for winning gold, silver and bronze medals for us and Central Gauteng Athletics. The other team members will have to improve in the upcoming cross country challenge and prepare to come back stronger next year,” says Roger Haitengi, Manager and Coach: UJ Athletics Club.
It was not to be for the other UJ student-athletes who finished below the medal-winning spots. Welma Nkuna finished in 7th position in the senior women’s 2km race. Khunedi Mashishi finished in 8th spot in the junior women’s 6km race while Lebogang Ramale and Sandra Wijtenburg finished in 10th and 11th positions with a time of 00:07:22 and 00:07:41, respectively.
Dipuo Mashamaite (4km women Under-23) and Simone Adams (4km) finished in 14th and 30th positions, respectively.
Chris Mhlanga (10km) and Ntokozo Gumede (4km women Under-23) finished in 6th and 18th places, respectively.
The squad, made up of ten senior and junior women and five (5) senior men runners, features last year’s silver and gold medalists Chris Mhlanga, Sisanda Dumisa and Lebogang Ramela.
The athletes ran distances ranging from 2km to 10km, with five students competing in 2km, seven students in 4km, and one student each in the 6km and 10km distances.