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Soweto race back on track

By Ramatsiyi Moholoa | 2013-09-11 07:04:52.0

ATHLETICS South Africa [ASA] have assured runners that the Soweto Marathon will take place on November 2, saying they will save the popular race despite being cash-strapped themselves.

The assurance by ASA president James Evans comes 24 hours after the Soweto Marathon Trust announced that the event was cancelled due to lack of sponsorship.

On his arrival from Poland yesterday, Evans said he was angry the Trust cancelled the iconic marathon without consulting ASA and the Soweto community.

"All the allegations by the Trust are not true and they have no authority to cancel the Soweto Marathon. The Soweto Marathon Trust does not own the marathon, it is a property of the people of Soweto," said Evans.

"We will definitely save the marathon, which is a big brand globally. Also remember, we have a contract with the SABC to stage the marathon."

He urged runners to keep on training for the Soweto Marathon this year because they will secure money to pay for their prizes.

On Monday, Trust chairman Sello Khunou said they decided to cancel the marathon after consultation with the Soweto athletics clubs.

"I take this opportunity to offer our sincere apology to all concerned. We readily acknowledge the fact that this is a sad day for road running in our country. However, we do not believe that it is time for us to sit back and lick our wounds," said Khunou.

Khunou said they were disappointed Evans would not allow them access to the R10-million broadcast rights money given to ASA by the public broadcaster for various high-profile road races.