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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Kavanagh confident about World Cross Country Champs after winning Best of the Best 21km

South African road-running sensation Tayla Kavanagh is positive that all her preparations leading up to the World Cross Country Championship are intact. Kavanagh is among the 28 athletes selected to represent South Africa at the upcoming competition scheduled for the 30th of this month in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

The 22-year-old Hollywood Athletics Club elite runner will be representing the country for the first time under the cross-country discipline. Speaking to #TheTopRunner after winning the Best of the Best Half Marathon on a scorching hot day in Durban on Sunday 3 March in a decent time of 1:14:50, Kavanagh highlighted the importance of having enough mileage in her tank to tackle cross country.

Kavanagh is confident that are preparations for the World Cross Country Championships are going well after winning the Best of the Best Half Marathon on Sunday 3 March. Photo Credit: Hollywood AC.

"I'm happy that I won the race (Best of the Best). This race forms part of my preparation leading up to the World Cross Country Championships. Since last year after the ASA Cross trials, the training program has been solely focused on this competition," explained Kavanagh who represented SA at the World Athletics Road Running Championships last October over 5km.

"I have to get enough endurance to prepare myself for the challenge lying ahead. Things will be a bit different from the cross-country we are used to. Plus the weather conditions will be cold there. Besides, I have to be fully ready. This was my last road running event as I won't take part in the SA 10km Championships on 10 March. I feel the race is too close for me. Before leaving for overseas, I'll participate in the KZN Track &Field Championship to qualify for nationals. I think I'm fully prepared to perform at my best in Serbia," she said.


Kavanagh and Kayla Jacobs in action at the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships in 2023. Kavanagh will represent SA for the first time in cross country later this month. Photo Credit: Supplied.

For Kavanagh, these Championships mean a lot to her in many ways. "I think whenever you are going to line up for a race overseas, it is always about opening doors in your career. So nothing will be different even this time around. Besides having personal goals, I think what is important is to work for the team goal. I intend to put the best performance out in order to show my appreciation for the opportunity of being selected for the country. So my target is to give all that I have on the day." 

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