The Monitor :: High Turnout At Cross-Country Series
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Last Updated
Saturday 25 May 2019, 16:03 pm.
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High Turnout At Cross-Country Series

KOPONG: Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) cross-country series that was held here on Saturday attracted around 90 athletes. It follows another one in Serowe that drew 45 runners.
By Calistus Kolantsho Mon 11 Feb 2019, 13:34 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: High Turnout At Cross-Country Series








The weekend event was the last edition before the national finals scheduled for Palapye on February 23.

Athletes who are part of the Diacore marathon programme were a toast of the series as they dominated the 10 kilometres men’s and women categories.  Rapula Diphoko won the men’s section in a time of 30.40 followed by his teammate, Sesebo Matlapeng in 31.03. Bakang Matlho of BDF athletics club arrived third clocking a time of 31.31.

The women’s challenge was won by Maitumelo Gotswakgosi with a time of 38.55 followed by Mema Thiango just a second away, 38.56. Keneilwe Kwena came third clocking a time of 40.20. BAA spokesperson, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba told Sport Monitor that the event was a success and a huge improvement from the previous edition.

“The attendance is encouraging to us as an association. It is an indication that more athletes are starting to have interest in cross country. We are seeing new faces challenging veteran runners. That is development that we are always talking about,” he said.

Ramatshaba said Diacore programme is doing well and athletes who are part of it are showing improvement in every event. He said the programme is assisting athletes with training and opportunities to compete in international events that could not have been possible if it they were just part of BAA.

He said cross country series are meant to select a team

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that would represent Botswana at the IAAF world championships to be held in March. Ramatshaba revealed that the team would be selected after the national finals and the side has to go through SAR X cross country championship at a venue yet to be announced.

 For his part, 10km men’s winner, Diphoko said it is always good to start the season on a high note. He said athletes always struggle at the beginning of the season, but this weekend the competition had improved from the past two cross country events that were held in Gaborone and Serowe.

“We have a tough year ahead of us and as local runners we should work hard to cut down on foreign dominance. Cross country series is a stepping stone to marathons and for us to start winning them, we should work hard and change running techniques,” Ramatshaba said.

In other events, Oteng Kgaolo of Tlokweng athletics club won the junior boys 8km race with a time of 26.14 followed by Botshelo Jeremiah of Lefika with a time of 27.49 and Samuel Nkoketsang from Tlokweng finished third clocking 27.50.

The junior girls 6km race was won by Laone Moloi of Mogoditshane Secondary School in a time of 22.08 followed by Ketshephaone Rakhudunyana of K52 with a time of 27.59 and Boemo Kenalemang of Lefika was third with a time of 30.28.

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