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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

CAA Southern Region 5 to introduce Relay Meetings says president Zakhele Dlamini

Despite a wealth of talent, South Africa's men's 4 x 100m relay team has for the last two World Championship events, failed to take the baton into the finish line. After the disappointment in Budapest last month, members of the team that included the likes of Akani Simbine and Shawn Maswanganyi sighted the limited time they had to train together to prepare themselves for the global showpiece as the main reason for the poor performance.

Dlamini says CAA Southern Region 5 will soon introduce relay meets to allow their member nations to get ready for global competitions. Photo Credit: Supplied.

Now Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) region five President Zakhele Dlamini has announced that the regional federation is in the final stages of introducing relay meetings which will help its member countries to prepare for global competitions. "I think you have seen in the past World Championships that South Africa for example failed to take the baton into the finish line. In Oregon, there was a mix-up then this year again in Budapest this year," explains Dlamini who leads the federation which is made up of fourteen Southern African countries including South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe to name a few.

"Then we heard athletes like Simbine saying the reason they performed that way was lack of preparation leading to the tournament. That is a cause for a concern since they had the potential of winning a medal. So this is why we have decided to sit down and find a solution to all of this. Our first step is to introduce relay meetings for the athletes to get good competition. Those meetings will ensure that our region gets to sharpen up its 100m, 200m and 400m athletes ahead of major competitions. We are in final stages before launching those meetings," he revealed.

Dlamini is pictured here alongside Athletics South Africa Road Running Chairperson Enoch Skosana and KZN Athletics Deputy President Mandla Mngomezulu at the launch of the 2024 Durban International Marathon which will double as a CAA Marathon Championships Event. Photo Credit: Durban International Marathon.

Dlamini who is in charge of athletics eSwatini, was placed at the helm of the Southern Region 5 this January. He emphasised that although many good projects like this don't get implemented due to a lack of funding, they are confident that their initiative will attract the right commercial partners.

"There are a lot project we have in mind but they remain on pipeline due to the lack of funding. It not like we don't want our sport progressing going forward. As you can see we have partnered with Durban International Marathon to host our Marathon Championship. So if opportunity present itself to partner with other events then we would take it and make use of it. Our biggest setback is money, "

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