Monday, January 24, 2022

Dintwe, Matlapeng peerless as Cross Country season continues

Onneile Dintwe kick started 2016 on a high note, winning the ladies 10km cross country event this past Saturday. In a race ran in Mogoditshane, the athlete displayed no sign of holiday rustiness as she showed her peers a clean pair of heels to claim the first event of the year. Having taken the lead from the onset, Dintwe was peerless in the ladies category, opening a sizeable gap to convincingly win the race. Under the watchful eye of her South African manager, Dintwe did the 10km course in just under 41 minutes, at least six minutes ahead of her closest competitor Mema Tjiango. 

The 30 year old finished the five lap course in 40 minutes, 51 seconds while second placed Tjiango and third placed Marea Maano clocked 46 minutes 12 seconds and 47 minutes and 35 seconds respectively. Speaking in an interview after the race, Dintwe said while she was disappointed with the competition she faced from her competitors, she was happy with her performance. “The time I did was ok considering that for almost the entire race, I was racing alone in the race. Even when I was leading and none of my competitors was on sight, my whole concentration was to race against time and this helped me throughout the race,” Dintwe explained. With the realisation that her career is approaching its twilight years, the Kanye based athlete said her intention is to make the most of the next four years and qualify for all the major competitions including the Olympics. Meanwhile, in a fiercely competed men’s 10km race, Sesebo Matlapeng had to dig deep to beat off Onkarabile Matlhare and Rapula Diphoko to win the men’s event. 

The trio showed intent from the onset, running neck to neck throughout the designated 5 lap course.  In the end, Matlapeng just edged off Matlhare by a mere 10 milliseconds to clinch the race, with Diphoko just over a minute behind them. Matlapeng finished the race in 34 minutes, 53 seconds and 58 milliseconds, while Matlhare and Diphoko finished in 34:53:68 and 36:01:14 respectively. Commenting on his performance, Matlapeng said his intention is to qualify for the Africa Cross Country finals. While competing on the cross country races, the young athlete also said his aim is also to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics in the men’s 10 000 metres track event.

In other results still at the weekend’s cross country meet, Bakang Matlho won the Junior men’s 8km race ahead of Aobakwe Mophakedi and Tiroyaone Botlhoko in second and third position respectively. The trio of Matlho, Mophakedi and Botlhoko finished just a second apart, finishing the race in 33 minutes 51 seconds, 33 minutes 52 seconds and 33 minutes 53 seconds in that respective order. The Junior ladies’ 6km category went to Tumo Botlhoko, with Masego Nkgwang coming second. In the 4km Youth categories, Kealeboga Kgalemang was the youth boys’ winner while the Youth Girls’ category went to Precious Obatlilwe.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper