The country’s top race walkers dominated their respective events on Saturday at the annual ASA 50km and 20 Interprovincial Race Walking Championships held at Green Point Athletics Stadium in Cape Town.
Competing on a 1km-looped course, Mthunzi Mnisi earned his fourth straight national title over the 50km distance in the colours of Athletics Gauteng North (AGN).
Mnisi crossed the line in 4:46:42, holding off a challenge from Aaron Mahlangu of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) who finished second in 4:52:05, while Jeffrey Pheagane representing Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) grabbed the bronze medal in 5:16:59.
National record holder Natalie le Roux (KZNA) was in fine form, coasting to a solo victory in the women’s race to successfully defend her 50km title in 4:55:20.
In the 20km Senior Men Interprovincial race, national record holder Lebogang Shange (CGA) secured the win in 1:31:01. Sizwe Ndebele took second place in 1:32:40 (AGN) and Tumisang Pule (AGN) was third in 1:34:42.
Another SA record holder Anel Oosthuizen, earned a commanding victory for Athletics South West Districts (ASWD) in the 20km Senior Women contest, clocking 1:41:53. Zelda Schultz of Athletics Central North West (ACNW) took the silver medal in 1:50:47 and Nthatisi Mokhele (CGA) grabbed bronze in 2:00:25.
In the Junior age group, Antonio Farmer secured a convincing victory for ASWD in the 10km U20 Men in 48:17, while 16-year-old Nothando Sithole of AGN earned a solo win in the U20 Women 10km contest in 1:18:59.
The AGN team finished top of the final standings, with races being held over multiple distances across all age groups, as they racked up a total of 34 medals (17 gold, 9 silver, 8 bronze). The CGA squad finished second overall with 29 medals (9 g, 13 s, 7 b) and hosts Western Province Athletics (WPA), finished third with a total of 19 medals (8 g, 5 s, 6 b).
“The Board of ASA congratulates all winners on their new titles, all participants for the competitive spirit, the coaches for their hard work and Western Province Athletics for organising a successfull championship.
“We are going to see how we can build on this success to grow this exciting event of Race Walking in a country where so much potential still needs to be tapped and exposed,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.