All set for National Cross Country Champs Jonathan Chinyoka

Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter

HARARE Province team member Jonathan Chinyoka believes they can extend their dominance at the National Cross Country Championships when all provinces converge at Alan Lowry Golf Club, Redcliff this morning.

All provinces are set to compete in both seniors and Under-20 (juniors).

The senior men and women will compete in a 10km race. The Under-20 boys and girls will take part in 8km and 6km respectively.

The seasoned long distance runner is part of the 23-member team that will represent Harare at the championships.

“I am sure we will win. We have been preparing and the coaches have been really helpful. So we should win in every race.

“The course is tough but we are confident we will get good results. Obviously other provinces prepare but Harare have always dominated, that’s why we have been training as a team so that we win the title again,” said Chinyoka.

Harare are the defending champions.

Besides helping his team defend the title, Chinyoka is using the event to prepare for various upcoming marathon races.

“Being a seasoned athlete, this 10km run is key in preparing for other races I am going to compete in like 42km races. It is important in laying the foundation and the course is different from road events. So I get to assess my strength ahead of major races.

“I have the CBZ marathon, Two Oceans and Comrades coming up. For CBZ I am the defending champion and I want to defend the title this year. So this is good platform to gauge my strength,” said Chinyoka.

Other leading athletes in the team are Wellington Varevi, Patience Garauzive and Miriam Sibanda, all set to compete in the seniors.

Sibanda says she is ready for the task.

“I am prepared for this race and I am hoping to win. I think we have a strong team and seasoned athletes, and I believe we can defend the title.”

Elliot Mujaji, who is leading the Midlands province’s team has high hopes for his athletes going into today’s championships.

“Of course we have got high expectation. But as it is right now we have just assembled a team, we haven’t been into a camp to see how these athletes are going to perform.

“But I trust that they are doing well where they are because I have coaches in various areas where they are training and I have some of the senior athletes that I am training. And we expect them to do very well as well,” said Mujaji.

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