Cape Town - National champion Precious Mashele delivered the best individual performance of the overall South African team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark on Saturday.
Mashele crossed the line in 33:05, taking 16th position in the senior men's 10km race. It was the third best position ever achieved by a South African in the senior men's contest at the gruelling showpiece.
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With no other athletes in the top 50, the SA men's team settled for 12th position overall.
In the senior women's 10km race, Kesa Molotsane led the SA squad home in 42nd position in 39:31 and with only three runners reaching the finish, they did not qualify for the team competition.
The national junior teams, meanwhile, were superb in their approach, working together to achieve fifth place overall in both the men's and women's contests.
Prudence Sekgodiso ran the race of her young life. The 800m specialist took 20th position in the junior women's 6km race, while Carmie Prinsloo was 27th, with all five athletes finishing among the top 60.
In the junior men's 8km battle, Robert de Villiers finished 27th, Maxime Chaumeton was 28th and Ngconde Matwebu ended 32nd, carrying the SA team home with a solid all-round effort.