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UJ athletes gear up for 2023 ASA Cross Country Championship in Gqeberha

Sixteen University of Johannesburg (UJ) Athletics Club student-athletes travelled to compete in the 2023 Athletics South Africa Cross Country Championship on Saturday, 16 September 2023 in Gqeberha. The squad, made up of ten (10) 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.

Nkosinathi Sibiya

The athletes will run 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.

“We expect the athletes to bring home some medals from the Eastern Cape. We have assembled quite a balanced squad that we believe can challenge for top honours in the national (ASA) Cross Country Championship. We have 15 students in this competition, and we will have more students added on in the next USSA Cross Country later this year. I wish the team well in the championship and I am confident that they will do us proud,” says Roger Haitengi, Manager and Coach: UJ Athletics Club.

The junior women runners include; Khunedi Mashishi (6km), Faith Mabhena (2km), and Ntokozo Gumede (4km women Under-23).

Chris Mhlanga runs 21km in USSA track field in Bloemfontein on 6 May 2023 – Photo by Hannes Naude

Chris Mhlanga runs 21km in USSA track  field in Bloemfontein on 6 May 2023 – Photo by Hannes Naude

The senior women runners comprise; Welma Nkuna (2km), Sandra Wijtenburg (2km), Lebogang Ramela (2km), Ntombi Seabi (4km women Under-23), Simone Adams (4km), Dipuo Mashamaite (4km women Under-23), Karabo More (10km) and Sisanda Dumisa (4km).

The senior men runners consist of Jooma Mkhize (2km), Boikanyo Motlhamme (2km), Phemelo Note (4km), Nkosinathi Sibiya (4km), and Chris Mhlanga (10km).

Mhlanga took second place in the Under-23 men’s senior 4km run. Dumisa, who joined UJ athletics in 2020 finished in second place in the under-23 women’s 4km race. Regulars to the podium finish Sibiya and Ryan Mphahlele won gold and silver, respectively, for the men’s 4km race.

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