Greed robs the sport of talent

So local athletes once again failed to win the Nedbank Soweto Marathon yesterday.

So local athletes once again failed to win the Nedbank Soweto Marathon yesterday.

Are we surprised by their continued failure in this "People's Race"?


The last time a local won was when Charne Bosman clinched the women's title in 2004 and since then it has been Lesotho's Mmamorallo Tjoka's show. Mluleki Nobanda won the men's title back in 2001.

This is embarrassing to say the least. South Africa has world class facilities and expertise to prepare athletes for big events. And it is not that we don't have talent.

The problem with some of our runners is that they are greedy.

They want money at all costs and nothing would stop them competing in almost all events that carry prize money.

I should also point an accusing finger at the coaches and athletic clubs.

It does not look like they have the love of their charges at heart. They use these poor athletes to build their profiles and want to achieve this by having them compete in as many events as possible.

I was impressed when Frans Chauke called on fellow athletes to change their attitude for the sake of the sport and their health.

He lambasted them for lacking discipline and planning.

Though ASA can't restrict the clubs on the number of races in which their athletes compete, but they should still come up with a solution. And parents - who often encourage their children to compete in many races - should be involved.

Some of our athletes are full-time professionals and that's how they put food on the table.

The clubs should come up with strong marketing to gain sponsorship for their athletes.

The health of our athletes should be a priority besides it will not be like moving a mountain for the authorities to secure enough funding for their members.