The senior men’s 10km race at the South African Cross Country Championships is a race in which you cannot just say one specific athlete will take the gold. The field is packed with many talented and in-form athletes, thus making this one of the most difficult races to predict a winner. Let’s have a look at the ‘big guns’, experienced runners and newbies who will compete early Saturday morning.

Precious Mashele (AGN), William Kaptein(BOLA), Godfrey Ramokone (AFS), defending champion Samuel Matsepe (AFS) who does not seem to appear on the startlists, Derocious Makhubalo (CGA) and David Manya (NW), Joel Mmone (NW) heads into the race as the ‘big guns’ whereas Kgosi Tsosane (AGN), Collen Mulaudzi (AGN), Xolisa Tyali (CGA), Mariano Eesou (EPA), Zolani Nqaqa (EPA) and Sibusiso Madikizela (WPA) are some of the experienced guys that should not be written off. With absence of Elroy Gelant and Stephen Mokoka, one of the abovementioned athletes will be crowned the South African 10km cross country champion. Or is Matsepe in ‘title-defending’ shape? We will have to wait and see, because Matsepe lost to Godfrey Ramokone at the Freestate provincial championships…perhaps a sign that a new champion will be crowned?

Most, if not all of the abovementioned competitors, have represented South Africa at some kind of international championships, so confidence, tactical awareness and fast running will be the order of the day! Samuel Matsepe has a point to prove, Derocious Makhubalo wants to show that he can win this title, Precious Mashele is ready to fast from the sound of the pistol, Mariano Eesou is a youngster looking to cause an upset, Sibusiso Madikizela wants to show that he is capable of competing with the best, Collen Mulaudzi and Kgosi Tsosane wants to show that Athletics Gauteng North is best and Godfrey Ramokone is ready to decree that if you win Freestate championships, you can win the South African championships!

At the end of the day, the race is wide open. Different types of runners with different approaches, so really, anything can happen on the day. We hope to see you in Pacaltsdorp on Saturday 10 September 2016.