The South Sudan Athletic Federation (SSAF) through the general secretary Mr. Marko Akol has confirmed to KurraSport that they have set Saturday 8th February 2020 as a day for a national cross country to be hosted at Buluk Ground in Juba.
Mr. Marko confirmed that the cross country will attract 40 participants from different states across the country, with 30 of the participants going to be Boys while 10 from the girls side.
The one day event will see 10 participants selected to represent South Sudan in a 3 days African cross-country championship in Togo, the event which was initially scheduled for February 28 to March 1, was postponed to April 6-8 following the visit to the Togolese capital by the President of the African Athletics Confederation, Ahmad Kalkaba Melboum. Mr Ali Fajlu is the coach of the national athletics team.
SSAF general secretary Mr. Marco Akol confirmed that the National Cross Country Championship will start with a 2Km race for girls before finalizing it with the 10km race for men. Juba, Awiel, Kuajok, Wau, Torit, Kapoeta, Bor, Bentiu are all expected to send athletes to take part in the one day event.
The Athletics federation has been sending athletes to Ashaba, Morocco, DRC Congo, to take part in different athletics competitions, however the outcome has been low. South Sudan is set to send athletes to also take part in the Nanjing World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing from 13-15 March 2020 March 2021.
It should be noted that in 2019, four athletes from South Sudan were selected for trials in Japan and will remain in Maebashi until around July 2020, when they move to the athletes’ village in Tokyo. The athletes are currently living in an apartment borrowed by the city and train at Maebashi Sports Park and other facilities according to Shinya.
Shinya Tomonari, chief representative of the JICA South Sudan Office, commented, “We expect good things from the new relationship that will be cultivated with the city of Maebashi and Japan.”
The National Cross Country will be an important event for the South Sudan athletes to improve their speed and prepare them ahead of the Africa Cross Country Championship to be held in Lome, Togo on April, 2020.