Shiwedha wins inaugural national cross-country race

02 Feb 2019 19:00pm
OTJIWARONGO, 02 FEB (NAMPA) – Thomas Shiwedha beat fellow Khomas long-distance runner, Kefas Kondjashili, to win the inaugural 2019 National Cross-Country Championship Run at Paresis Sports Centre in Otjiwarongo on Saturday afternoon.

The race, which attracted 132 athletes over a 10 kilometer (km) stretch of open land and grass fields as well a two-kilometre loop course, saw Shiwedha crowned the man’s champion in a time of 28 minutes (m) and 55 seconds (s).

Kondjashili followed him two seconds later in a time of 28m 57s with Jeremia Shaliaxwe coming home third in a time of 32m08s.

The women’s senior category saw runners from the University of Namibia dominating the podium as Tangi Mulundu won the race in 35m48s, while Theresia Nambambi was second in a time of 36m49s.

Kaurirongua Mungunda came home a distant third in a time of 47m57s.

Speaking to Nampa at the conclusion of the race, Shiwedha expressed delight at his victory, saying it was not easy due to the hot conditions.

“I am targeting to qualify for the World Championships, World Cross Country and the Olympic Games, hence, this is good preparation in terms of obstacles like up-hills, downhills and curves. It helps with body strength,” he said.

He added that the pace was high and it helped him implement some of the tactics he had trained with his coach.

He also noted that there was also lack of top quality competition as most of the big name athletes were absent, but noted that this did not mean the race was of poor quality.

Mulundu, who is a fitness enthusiast and a member of the university’s football team, also lamented the heat during the race.

“The absence of traditional big name athletes is a good thing as it gives newcomers like me [a chance] to gain experience and taste victory. I will take each competition as it comes,” she said.

Helena Amutana of Oshana won the women’s 6km race in he junior section in a time of 24m03s, with local athlete Ronel Maasdorp finishing second with a time of 26m45s.

Michelle du Preez was third in a time of 28m17s.

The junior boys over the same distance had Johannes Nghilifiwa winning the race by 26m49s followed by Matheus Gabriel in a time of 28m36s and at third place went Gustav Kutako, who finished in a time of 30m26s.