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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'Remember in all the international experiences I have, I don't have World Cross' - Mulaudzi is ready

Now that the final team to represent South Africa at the World Cross Country Championships has been named, Collen Mulaudzi says he has a score to settle. Having worn the green and gold at both the World Half Marathon Championships and the World University Games, the 31-year-old says one of the main things missing from his list of accomplishments is a trip to an international cross country competition.

"Remember in all the international experiences I have, I don't have World Cross. The last World Cross Championships in Uganda (2017) I got an accident so I was out of it. So I decided that let me go back because I can't leave athletics without having a World Cross," he told #TheTopRunner.

Mulaudzi in training with the Sponge Group. He is looking forward to represent South Africa at his first World Cross Country Championships. Photo Credit: Sponge Group.

The Hollywoodbets Athletic Club man has been named in a strong squad that will fly the SA Flag in Bathurst, Australia on February 18. The men's senior team includes Precious Mashele who took 16th place at the competition in 2019 as well as his training partner Maxime Chaumeton - a sub 28 minute 10km runner. The vastly experience national 5000m record holder Elroy Gelant is also there, as is national 10 000m and 10km cross country champion Mbuleli Mathanga and the improving Mathews Leeto.

Having set his 1:00:51 21km personal best at the World Half Marathon Championships in 2020 to help the country to a fifth place finish out of 21 nations, Muluadzi is once again focussed on bringing his best. "So far I think I'm fine. I think everything is going well, so I'm happy with the way I have started the season. From December, I put more hills. I changed my route and put hills to make it more heavy because the one that we use normally is too flat. I was in camp because I saw my name on the list for World Cross," said the man who is coached by the legendary Michael "Bra Sponge" Seme.

Mulaudzi in the colours of Hollywoodbets AC in action at the national cross country trials in Potchefstroom in December. Photo Credit: KarabJ.

Mulaudzi also thanked his training partner Stephen Mokoka who may have hung up his cross country spikes but still has valuable experience on a discipline wherein he attained a top 20 finish in 2018. "There's no one who has experience like Stephen, so I'm starting to gain experience especially because I'm learning from him. I believe that one the days I'll get that experience which he has."

The women's team includes Glenrose Xaba, Cian Oldknow, Kesa Molotsane, Kyla Jacobs, Aynslee van Graan and Cacisile Sosibo who passed a late fitness test on Thursday to guarantee her inclusion in the squad.

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