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Let's start now for London 2012

By unknown | Aug 25, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

BEIJING - It has been a tiring stay for us at the Olympics and we can't wait to return home for a well deserved break.

We applaud everybody who dedicated his or her time to the success of the Games in all spheres.

We also congratulate athletes who hoisted their countries' flags with pride and dignity by winning medals.

They did not come here as tourists masquerading as Olympians.

To Team South Africa, though, we would like to say "welcome back home from what should have been an enjoyable holiday in Beijing".

What else can we say? We had 137 of them here but we only managed one silver medal, courtesy of Khotso Mokoena in the long jump.

This is a scandal and the SA Sports and Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) owes the nation and Parliament an explanation.

Granted, we had novices in Beijing, but the team was augmented with seasoned campaigners.

We had the likes of Roland Schoeman, Ryk Neethling, Hendrick Ramaala, Alwyn Myburg and Lyndon Ferns.

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi tried his best but flu had the last laugh on him.

Thuso Mpuang, Ruben Ramolefi, Jean Basson and Sifiso Nhlapo reached the finals in their respective events, but will the authorities help them to improve their performances for 2012?

They should be put on a special programme to be thoroughly prepared for London.

Sascoc kept on bragging about their extensive training programme for Beijing and some of us should be forgiven for thinking that we would impress at the Olympics. The opposite happened.

I asked Team SA chef de mission president Hajera Kajee the other day to explain our failure to win medals and she tried to explain something that did not make sense to me.

"People should note that we have a number of newcomers and the experience they are gaining here will make them better for the next Games," she said.

This is always their reasoning after every Olympics. Our problem is that we leave it until late to prepare for international competitions.

We should start now for 2012.


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