Author George April

The Coronavirus disease (COVID – 19) badly hampered two South African Cross Country champions’ intention to try and win titles again in 2020.

Abigail Fortuin (17), a pupil of Riebeeck Valley Special School, surprised in the 2019 season when she won a second SA title in Mpumalanga. It was the u/16 title after she also won the u/15 title the previous year in Pretoria.

Zumera Makka (16), a pupil at the same school, won the u/15 SA cross country title last season as a pupil of Hopefield Primary. It was also the second time for both athletes to qualify for the SA Cross Country Championships.

Both athletes intended to win the U/16 and U/17 titles this year respectively. However, the government was forced to cancel all sporting events because of the Coronavirus. In fact, all sporting events worldwide have been canceled.

Abigail, who also excelled on the track this season, now plans to take part in the Boland Athletics events, which begin in September each year.

According to Abigail`s coach, Joggie Maarman, the athlete keeps fit with stretching exercises. Maarman, a marathon athlete, explains:

“Although the government indicated that the lockdown will be eased to Phase 4 from 1 May, sporting events will not start any time soon. I am hopeful, however, that everything will be back to normal when the athletic season starts in 2020/21.

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