Call crucial meeting to deliver world class team and strategise for the Beijing Olympics

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

As part of their preparations for the Beijing Olympics, Athletics South Africa (ASA) are calling all stakeholders to a crucial meeting to strategise for the big event.

Known as The President's briefing, it is scheduled for Saturday at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, starting at 9am.

"This is an Olympic year, we are all under pressure to ensure that we deliver a world class team to make all of us happy in Beijing," said Leonard Chuene, ASA president.

"We are calling all the stakeholders in the sport, from the athletes, their coaches to agents to map the way forward for Beijing. There should be no excuses in Beijing, we as ASA are going to channel all our resources into the team's preparations.

"We will be talking about everything, starting with the kind of preparations they need and competitions lined-up for this year.

"They must tell us what is it that they want us to do, over and above the usual role we play is supporting them financially and otherwise.

"We felt it was important to bring in the coaches too as they are the ones dealing with athletes on a daily basis.

"Agents are equally important because they organise events, locally and internationally, for their charges to compete in.

"We need to come up with a master plan to make sure we do not come back to South Africa from China empty-handed this time round. We have some of the best athletes in the world, there is no reason why we should fail."

Some of the athletes expected to attemd include Khotso Mokoena, Hendrick Ramaala, Mbulaei Mulaudzi, Constance Mkenku and Geraldine Pillay.

l Two training camps for the cross-country provisional squad and senior team to the Olympics at the HPC start today and Thursday, respectively.

Molatelo Malehopo, ASA development manager, said the cross-country team is preparing to go to Zambia on January 23.