THE Phalula twins – Lebo and Lebogang – have pulled out of this weekend’s Athletics SA Cross Country Championships set for Hutchison Park in Amanzimtoti, over two days on Friday and Saturday.

Speaking to SunSport yesterday, Lebo, who collapsed at the finish line on Saturday during the Spar Grand Prix 10km Women’s Challenge near Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, said she’s recovered and well.

However, she said the cancellation was a result of fatigue as they need to recover well before their next race, which is the same Spar Grand Prix series in Tshwane on Heritage Day, next Friday.

Another mental aspect that may have a negative impact on the two middle-distance runners is the loss of their training partner Isaac Langa, who died last month.

Lebo said she is still recovering from flu, but is feeling better. “I’m travelling a lot and the training can be too hectic at times,” Lebo told SunSport after her training session in Soweto yesterday.

“This weekend was hectic. I need to recover and ensure that my body recovers all lost fluids, and be in tip-top shape. But for now I cannot race and my doctor said I need enough rest.”

She said she started feeling a bit dizzy in Durban on Saturday around the 8th kilometre mark, “and I started walking and running a bit until I dozed off and woke up in an ambulance”.

“I was then in position seven, but it’s okay because my health comes first,” she said.

Her twin sister, Lebogang, confirmed that her collapse was due to flu: “Her body was weak and we need to take it easy.” The cross-country, hosted by Athletics KwaZulu-Natal in conjunction with ASA, will now host the eight to 13 year-olds in addition to the 14 to 49 age groups following requests from provinces.

“Athletes in the eight to 13 years category will participate in competition on Friday, while the 14 to 49 will compete on Saturday,” ASA said in statement.