ASA give races the green light
Athletics South Africa have decided to reopen competition. In a circular released earlier this morning, the federation confirmed that races a free to go ahead as from Saturday 6, February 2021. This comes after a two week hiatus which came after ASA decided to suspend all activities because of the second wave of the Coronavirus that was making its way through the country to widespread criticism from elite athletes in particular.
The organisation's acting CEO Terrence Magogodela said in the statement that the decision to halt all competitive athletics had been a 'difficult and painful' one adding that race organisers will have to follow all Covid-19 health and safety protocols (which includes the appointment of a Covid compliance officer) when they put on events.
While runners have welcomed the announcement, questions remained about the status of school sport. The World U20 Championships are set to take place one week after the Olympic Games in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 to 22 August, 2021, which places many of the country's future champions in a race against time to qualify.
That has been made even more challenging by the delay in the reopening of schools because of the pandemic. Qualification will be near impossible for school-going athletes in the absence of top class school track and field meets. Athletes, coaches and parents are hoping that ASA's meeting on Sunday will provide some clarity.