ASA on track to bring back medals

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Athletics South Africa (ASA) are over the moon with their progress in preparing for the eagerly-awaited Beijing Olympics in China in August.

"We are well on track, there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of our plans to bring back medals," said Leonard Chuene, ASA president.

"It is a known fact that we did not do well in the past, but we have confidence in the youngsters that have come through our development programme.

"Normally, it takes three to four years for an athlete to start making a serious impact on the local and international front.

"Our policy of taking young athletes to major international competitions to compete against the best in the world in the past two years is beginning to bear fruit.

"Athletics is known for always being the best sporting code in South Africa when it comes to winning more medals at the Olympics.

"We work hard to maintain our winning standards," said Chuene, adding that the Yellow Pages Series was a great platform for local athletes to sharpen themselves up.

"It has been very helpful, we had a meet in Germiston on Friday where five athletes, including Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, qualified for the Olympics with an A standard.

"There is a hope with some many athletes qualifying so early in the season, especially when you consider that our standards are very high.

"It is good to see many youngsters doing well at the series, it augurs well for our plans to be among the best countries at the Olympics in 2012 in England.

"We will be taking our athletes to the World Championships in Berlin (Germany) and Daegu (Korea) in 2009 and 2011 as part of the preparations for England."

Youngsters who came through the ASA development programme and are doing well include Tshamano Setone, Samson Ngoepe, Thandi Vilakazi and Ruben Ramolefi.