Plans are in place to ensure promising junior athletes are not lost - James Moloi
Athletics South Africa (ASA ) President James Moloi is delighted with the performance of the country's junior athletes at the recently concluded World Athletics U20 Championship in Kenya. Team SA finished in 6th position overall with a total of nine medals as Mihlali Xhotyeni, Sinesipho Dambile, Letlhogonolo Moleyane, and Benjamin Richardson ran 38:51 to set a new U20 4x100m relay World record.
Speaking to #TheTopRunner, Moloi was happy with the performance shown by the athletes and says they have been earmarked for success as seniors."I'm so happy with the way our team performed during the games. They represented the country very well against the rest of the world" said elated Moloi during a telephonic interview.
"The positive thing we can take from the games is that most of the disciplines were represented, unlike the Olympics squad. This is a good foundation if we want to compete with the rest of the world. Another factor is that our squad was made of athletes mostly 17 and 18 years of age which is a good experience for them. The overall performance was extraordinary as our relay team even set the new world record. To be precise this is the proud moment for the nation," he said.
The 54-year-old Diepkloop born administrator believes the work to prepare these athletes for the senior ranks has begun and there is a strategy in place to make sure these promising youngsters are not lost. "Our work to ensure these athletes transform smoothly to the senior ranks has started as we speak," he explained.
"Now, It's time to sit down with the athlete's coaches, managers, and federations presidents to outline the plans we have in place for these athletes in ensuring that they don't disappear out of the system. These athletes belong to the nation now so they must be monitored with the way they perform in order to continue to raise the country flag high. We must ensure that they get adequate support going forward either educationally or otherwise. This also challenges us too to assist the development coaches in order to produce another crop of young athletes to replace these one as they upgrade to the senior ranks," he said.