Local runners slated

GEARED UP: Athletes from the Toyata Athletics Club will take paer in the Nedbank Soweto Marathon on Sunday. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 29/10/2008. © Sowetan
GEARED UP: Athletes from the Toyata Athletics Club will take paer in the Nedbank Soweto Marathon on Sunday. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 29/10/2008. © Sowetan

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

South African long-distance runners will fail to end the dominance of foreign runners in many events in the country because they lack discipline and planning.

The South Africans were lambasted by fellow athlete Frans Chauke at the media briefing for Sunday's Nedbank Soweto Marathon in Johannesburg yesterday.

The forthright Chauke stunned everybody when he said his fellow South Africans will continue to play second fiddle to their counterparts from neighbouring countries because of their disturbing attitude.

"Our athletes don't take care of themselves and they will continue to be a laughing stock in events such as the Soweto Marathon," Chauke said. "I'm not surprised by the dominance of runners from Lesotho and Zimbabwe in the Soweto Marathon because these athletes always succeed because they plan well for races.

"Our problem with our athletes is that they want to compete in every marathon and ultra marathon events at their disposal and forgetting that they are killing themselves health-wise.

"The way they have been handling themselves strikes me like they are desperate for money. They have disappointed the federation and they should change their attitude and start to be disciplined," he said.

Chauke, who has competed in the Soweto Marathon three times, is one of the top runners in the country.

Leonard Chuene, Athletics South Africa's president, concurred with Chauke.

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