Pretoria to host meet

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Polokwane has lost out on the big opportunity to host yet another high-profile national athletics competition because of technical problems faced by Athletics South Africa.

The change comes four days after Athletics Limpopo hosted a successful Nedbank Matha Series half-marathon in Seshego on Saturday.

Linda Ferns, ASA general manager, has announced that the national junior and youth track and field championships will now take place in Pretoria (LC de Villiers Stadium) on April 18 and 19.

"For example, the discus and hammer cages have to be replaced. There are cracks in the track, and holes in the run-up to javelin throwing.

"The landing mats for the high jump and pole vault are also not suitable," Ferns said.

"Our athletes will be qualifying for the world junior championships. We are worried about the state of affairs, especially because the province will be hosting the 2009 SA Games.

"ASA had hoped to use its championships to gauge the readiness of the facility to host the Games."

Once again, there is commitment from the city of Polokwane (in this instance) to attend to the problems, but they have left it too late.

Kakata Maponyane, Athletics Limpopo president, said: "We are disappointed but hope the municipality will fix the problems so that we can host other big events."