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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

Skhosana hails SA Champs as a success

Athletics South Africa (ASA) President Aleck Skhosana has applauded all parties involved in hosting a successful Sizwe Medical Fund SA Senior Track & Field Championships at Tuks in Pretoria. The competition which happened between 15 to 17 April saw athletes from across the country flock to the capital city as they sought to be crowned champions in their respective disciplines.

Skhosana says the Sizwe Medical Fund SA Senior Track & Field Championships were a success. Photo Credit: ASA Media.

One of the highlights of those three days was seeing 800m Olympic Champion Caster Semenya running in the still unfamiliar 5 000m which she managed to in a time of 15:52. Akani Simbine continued his fine form dipping under 10 seconds yet again on his way to winning the men's 100m, while 400m world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk claimed gold over the 200m distance. Skhosana believes the games went well despite the fact that not one athlete managed to attain a Tokyo Olympics qualifying standard. He thinks the athletes still have all the time to make an Olympic dream a reality as the cut-off date is 29 June.

" I think the Championships went well from our side for the past three days," said Skhosana during a telephonic interview. "Everything went according to plan. I must thank all the athletes who came in numbers to perform well during those three days. Regarding the athletes that failed to hit Olympics standards, they must not panic as there is still time before the cut-off. And one of the reasons our athletes failed to get those times is because other athletes from European countries couldn't be present at the Championship because of travel bans since there is Covid19," he explained.

Wayde van Niekerk got himself a standing ovation from fellow athletes at Tuks Athletics Stadium, meeting officials and ground staff, as he celebrated the 200m gold medal win in 20.38 seconds on Saturday. Photo Credit: ASA Media.

Skhosana, who is running for the second term as federation boss in the upcoming ASA elections on May 8, says the focus now turns to the squad that will represent the country at the World Relay Championship in Poland on 1-2 May. He believes it's difficult to predict South Africa's medal prospects because they haven't seen the squad selected by other countries such as the USA, France, and Jamaica.

"The focus now is on the squad selected to represent us at the World relay champs," elaborates Skhosana. "The good thing is that all the selected athletes have their Visas approved which is good news. There is always a lot of red tape involved in travelling nowadays with Covid19. It's very hard to predict if we are in good shape to collect any medals as we are yet to see the squads of these dominant nations like the USA, Great Britain, France, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. When we see what athletes they have included then we would be able to say where we stand in terms of medals. But we selected a very strong squad and we expect them to raise the country's flag high," he concluded.

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