Updated: September 9, 2016

While defending champions Samuel Matsepe and Glenrose Xaba are not listed among the entries, strong line-ups are preparing to tackle the senior men’s and women’s races at the SA Cross Country Championships in George on Saturday.

The men’s 10km field includes the likes of David Manja and Central North West teammate Joel Mmone, as well as a strong Gauteng North team led by Precious Mashele, Vuyisile Tshoba and Kgosi Tsosane, and Western Cape dangerman William Kaptein, who turns out as an individual entry from Boland.

Though it is no longer a World Championships event, a senior men’s 4km race will be contested, with Olympic 5 000m finalist Elroy Gelant standing out in the entry list for the shorter distance, which also includes Kaptein and Tsosane, along with middle-distance track specialist Jerry Motsau.

In the senior women’s 10km race, the KwaZulu-Natal duo of Makhosi Mhlongo and Jenet Dlamini, the silver and bronze medallists at last year’s championships in Middelburg, will toe the line alongside Liziwe Mabona (Gauteng North), and marathon specialists Cornelia Joubert (Central Gauteng) and Zintle Xiniwe (Western Province).

Nolene Conrad will turn out as the favourite for the senior women’s 4km title.

Over 2 700 athletes will compete at the annual national cross country championships, which will host races for athletes in all age groups between the ages of 8 and 89.