Ramaala signs for marathon

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Hendrick Ramaala, one of South Africa's greatest athletes, is the first big-name runner to sign up for the 2007 New York Marathon.

"We have already signed and sealed the deal with the organisers," said the 35-year-old law graduate at the weekend.

Ramaala failed to make it two in a row in the same marathon last year when world record-holder Paul Tergat (Kenya) pipped him to the finish line by only one second.

'It's a great honour that I'm the first top athlete to have been offered a deal by the New York Maathon, they negotiated with my London-based manager John Bicourt.

"The fact that we have signed so early will help me to focus on the other activities that will take place earlier on the marathon.

"For now, I have been focusing on the preparations for the World Championships in Japan in August (where he will take part in the marathon).

"I would really love to win because I have done well in all the major events, bar the World Championships and Olympics.

"Those are the only two major events that I have been eyeing in the next 16 months, I won't give up until I win their titles.

"The World Championships will give me an idea of what to expect at the Olympics in Beijing next year."

The other South African in the marathon team to the World Championships include Bethuel Netshifhefhe, Norman Dlomo and George Mofokeng.

"We have assembled a pretty good team, l and I have no doubt that we will make South Africa proud."