Zimbabwe’s Luwis Masundo wins the 2005 African southern region XC champs (Quirin) © Copyright
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South Africans shine in African Southern Region Cross Country Championships

Mother Nature was not in a very good mood on Saturday for the 9th edition of Southern Region Cross Country Championships which took place at the Candos hill in Phoenix, Mauritius, a competition at which South Africa won five of the six races and came first in the team tournament.

It was not such an easy competition for the runners coming from eight countries of the Southern Region of Africa, namely Botswana, Madagascar, Reunion Island, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, who had to face heavy rain and a track largely covered with mud. There was no doubting this was a real cross country track, where they were unanimous to say that it was truly nice to run in those circumstances.

Zimbabwean wins men’s long race title

The only race which escaped South Africa’s grasp was the men’s long race (10.5 km) won by Zimbabwe’s Luwis Masundo who clocked 32:08 while the runners from Botswana, namely Kaelo Mosalagae and Sewani Chenami, took respectively the second and third places.

“I’m very happy to take the gold medal. The weather conditions were quite difficult and it was a little bit hard to run in those circumstances. But, I must confess that it was a great experience to run in such a situation with a truly muddy track,” said Masundo.

The steeplechase specialist, Ruben Ramolefi – who represented South Africa at the Olympic last year – won the men’s short race by just two seconds beating Mosalagae, who had also taken silver in the long race.

Women’s Long race goes to two-time previous winner

Poppy Mlambo had a big smile on her face after the women’s long race which she easily won, preceding Samobeliso Moy from Zimbabwe. That was not a surprise as Mlambo had already won the sixth and seventh edition of the Southern Region Cross Country Championships in Lesotho and Angola respectively.

“I’m very happy with this victory as it is my first consecration in the Southern Region Cross Country Championships. Now I’m aiming for the World Cross Country Championships in France,” said Mlambo.

In the women’s short race (4.2 km), the twin’s sisters from South Africa, Dinahrose and Lebo Phalula took respectively the gold and the silver meal with their team mate René Kalmer completing the podium. Phalula, four years ago won the silver medal during the All Africa Junior Championships on 5000m in Mauritius.

Junior contests

The women’s junior race (6 km) went to Irvette Van Blerk from South Africa and who recently recovered form a motorcycle accident a couple of months ago.
“Three months ago I had a motorcycle accident, and I’m very happy to win my first competition since my accident,” she said. “It was not an easy race for me as I had a hard fall in the first lap. Because of that fall, I lost almost five metres of the other opponents. Luckily, I succeeded in picking up one by one to finally take the lead in the last lap,” added Van Blerk.

In the men’s junior race, South Africa’s Nkosinoxolo Sonqibido, did not have so many worries as Irvette Van Blerk, taking the victory easily.

Reynolds Quirin for the IAAF



Junior Race
(6 km)
1. Irvette Van Blerk RSA 23:10
2. Christine Kalmer RSA 23:26
3. Roshell Moses RSA 23:42
4. Patience Khumalo RSA 24:11
5. Violet Raseboya RSA 24:28
6. Rosta Matlawe RSA 24:44
7. Maryke Rossouw RSA 26:29
8. Mireille Dervieux REU 29:27

Team results
1. South Africa RSA 10 points
 1. Irvette Van Blerk
 2. Christine Kalmer
 3. Roshell Moses
 4. Patience Khumalo

Short Race (4.2 km)
1. Dinarose Phalula RSA 14:59
2. Lebo Phalula RSA 15:01
3. René Kalmer RSA 15:37
4. Desiree Kruger RSA 15:56
5. Anabelle Triton MRI 16:33
6. Natacha Monique MRI 17:33
7. Guianella Nuckchady MRI 17:51
8. Marielle Pierre MRI 18:32
9. Yolène Raffin MRI 18:54
10. Anna Barra SEY 19:15
11. Christiane Louise MRI 19:26

Team results
1. South Africa RSA 10 points
 1. Dinarose Phalula
 2. Lebo Phalula
 3. René Kalmer
 4. Desiree Kruger
2. Mauritius MRI 26 points
 5. Anabelle Triton
 6. Natacha Monique
 7. Guianella Nuckchady
 8. Marielle Pierre

Long Race (8 km)
1. Poppy Mlambo RSA 30:26
2. Samobeliso Moy ZIM 30:55
3. Takalane Nthlane RSA 31:25
4. Nikwanda Funani RSA 32:08
5. Tobogo Masehla RSA 33:58

Team results
1. South Africa RSA 13 points
 1. Poppy Mlambo
 3. Takalane Nthlane
 4. Nikwanda Funani
 5. Tobogo Masehla



Junior Race (8 km)
1. Nkosinoxolo Sonqibido RSA 26:20
2. Lubabalo Mqhele RSA 28:00 (Individual)
3. Tshanamo Steno RSA 27:11
4. Mandla Nkosi RSA 28:00 (individual)
5. Gilbert Mashini RSA 28:11
6. Molefe Molefe RSA 28:29
7. Abram Khumalo RSA 29:10
8. Remy Ganné REU 29:38
9. Hansley Tuyau MRI 29:59
10. David Carver MRI 30:19
11. Bruno Belombre MRI 31:05
12. Sanjeeva Sooriah MRI 31:21
13. Jean-Pierre Désiré MRI 34:03
14. Richard Pokhun MRI 34:04

Team results
1. South Africa RSA 15 points
 1. Nkosinoxolo Sonqibido
 3. Tshanamo Steno
 5. Gilbert Mashini
 6. Molefe Molefe
2. Mauritius MRI 42 points
 9. Hansley Tuyau
 10. David Carver
 11. Bruno Belombre
 12. Sanjeeva Sooriah

Short Race (4.2 km)
1. Ruben Ramolefi RSA 12:47
2. Kaelo Mosalagne BOT 12:49
3. Boy Soke RSA 12:53
4. Mandla Maseko RSA 13:01
5. Anthony Hermanus RSA 13:06
6. Ronny Marie SEY 13:40
7. Nchinam Sewani BOT 13:52
8. Khemraj Reedoye MRI 13:55
9. Soondurnam Vardeyen MRI 14:21
10. Didier Saliman MRI 14:29
11. Westley Tauckoory MRI 14:47
12. Armando Durhône MRI 14:53

Team results
1. South Africa RSA 13 points
 1. Ruben Ramolefi
 3. Boy Soke
 4. Mandla Maseko
 5. Anthony Hermanus
2. Mauritius MRI 39 points
 8. Khemraj Reedoye
 9. Soondurnam Vardeyen
 10. Didier Saliman
 11. Westley Tauckoory


Long Race (10.5 km)
1. Luwis Masundo ZIM 32:08
2. Kaelo Mosalagae BOT 32:48
3. Sewani Chenami BOT 32:55
4. Thabalethu Phaku RSA 33:04
5. Themba Miya RSA 33:13
6. Friedel Maans RSA 31:31
7. Menon Ramsamy MRI 33:41
8. Sello Legodi RSA 34:28
9. Dharamjai Jeetun MRI 34:38
10. Arnaud Moel REU 34:57
11. Zakhele Nhlabatsi SWZ 35:07
12. Simon Labiche SEY 35:18
13. Francis Manon MRI 35:21
14. Fred Morin REU 35:31
15. Jean-Luc Vilbrun MRI 36:00
16. Jean-Paul Louise MRI 37:43
17. Jean-Paul Tripier MRI 37:51

Team results
1. South Africa RSA 33 points
 4. Thabalethu Phaku
 5. Themba Miya
 6. Friedel Maans
 8. Sello Legodi
2. Mauritius MRI 44 points
 7. Menon Ramsamy
 9. Dharamjai Jeetun
 13. Francis Manon
 15. Jean-Luc Vilbrun