Kesa Molotsane proved at the fifth Bloemfontein district cross country league on Friday that she will be the toughest competitor to keep off the top spot of the rostrum at the Free State championships, which takes place on 13 August on the same course where the mentioned Bloemfontein league was staged.
Molotsane won the 10km race for senior woman in a quick 38:39. In the process, she left her strongest rival for the title at the Free State championships, Annah Moeketsi (39:54), way behind.
Maryna Swanepoel finished in a distant third in 41:38, whilst the Free State marathon record holder, Paulina Njeya, was fourth in 41:46.
The 10km event for men saw a much closer affair where Godfrey Ramakone had to use every inch of his international experience to beat team mate, Anastacius Ontong. Their respective times were 32:18 and 32:34.
Xolisa Madi, who stepped out of his junior shoes this year, was third in 32:49.
Unlike Molotsane, Ramakone will not sleep as peaceful with the Free State championships in mind. He would know that a stronghold from the Goldfields area will give him a proper run for his money.
The top-3 in the senior men 4km run, Monnapule Ramabusa (12:50), Tanki Mosoeu ( 12:59), and Athenkosi Tiyabanti (13:13) recorded times which will surely not easily see them winning medals at the Free State champs.
The winner of the senior women’s 4km, Romi Engelbrecht, recorded a time of 17:41 for her win on Friday.
The first three women in the 22-year division, Marné Mentz (15:59), Lizandré Muller (17:00) and Samantha Pelzer (17:22), all recorded faster times than Engelbrecht.
Gomolemo Leepile (13:09) took honours in the 22-year age group for men. – RUFUS BOTHA