ASA team thrills Ramaala

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Hendrick Ramaala believes Athletics South Africa (ASA) has assembled one of the greatest marathon teams for the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, from August 25 to September 2.

Speaking from Beijing, China, where Team South Africa has set up camp ahead of the prestigious biennial International Associations Athletics Federation competition, Ramaala said they also stand a good chance of winning the team prize medal.

"There are no two ways about it, it is a hungry team consisting of a combination of experience and youth. The good thing about it is that we have competed internationally as individuals in the past," said Ramaala.

The other members of the team include Norman Dlomo, Two Oceans Marathon champion Bethuel Netshifhefhe, who finished second at the Nedbank South African Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth in February, Zongamele Dyubeni and George Mofokeng.

Before going to China, Ramaala has been taking part in a series of road races in the US and Europe as part of his preparations for the World Athletics Championships.

Ramaala said: "The plan for Osaka is on track. It is my main goal this year to win a World Athletics Championships medal. I have done my home work and I'm ready to compete against the best in the world.

"It is good that Team South Africa members are now in Beijing which will also give us an idea of what to expect in terms of the weather at the Olympics next year at more or less the same time of the season.

"We anticipate stiff opposition from Kenya and Ethiopia in the marathon."

Leonard Chuene, ASA president, said: "We have done everything possible to help the athletes prepare for the World Athletics Championships. We expect good results from them."