Cape Town - Kesa Molotsane was the best performer for South Africa on Saturday, leading the charge for the national team at the CAA African Cross Country Championships in Chlef, Algeria.
Spearheading the SA squad in the senior women's 10km race, Molotsane finished 16th in 37:40, after putting up a fight in cold and wet conditions. Chespol Celiphine Chepteek of Kenya won the race in 35:11.
In the 10km Men contest, David Manja also did well in the challenging conditions, hanging on for 17th place in 31:58, with Kenyan athlete Alfred Barkach securing the gold medal in 30:47.
Carmie Prinsloo was the top South African in the junior women's 6km race, finishing 19th in 23:10, and Dais Malebane was the first SA athlete across the line in the 8km Junior Men contest, finishing in 26:43.
In the team competitions, the SA contingents ended fifth in the Junior Women race, and sixth in the Junior and Senior Men battles.
"We have no excuses and we congratulate all countries who won podium places,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa. “The team we sent carried a mandate to contest medals at individual and team level, but we have to accept sometimes that we can’t win all the time.
“It was also an eye opener for some of the athletes who will treat this competition as valuable experience in their individual growth, including those athletes who will proceed to next year's IAAF World Cross Country Championships."