ramolefi sets new sa record
Ruben Ramolefi, the hugely talented South African steeplechaser, believes he is ready for the international stage.
Ramolefi also reiterated that he will not rest on his laurels, but will continue working hard to make a mark abroad.
The 30-year-old will start his European programme in July as part of his thorough preparations for the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in August.
His next domestic assignment will see him compete in the University Sport South Africa Championships in Stellenbosch next month.
"I'm excited with the way I performed in these meetings, but I will not sit down and relax," said Ramolefi who set the new South African record in the 3 000m steeplechase on Saturday.
He won in the time of 8min:16,04sec, breaking Whaddon Niewoudt's 17-year-old record of 8:19 set in 1992.
Ramolefi achieved this at the SA Senior Championships in Stellenbosch.
He added: "I'm succeeding because of my faith in God and hard work. I think I will able to overcome challenges in Europe. I also like to thank everyone who has been behind me. I urge them to continue to rally, not only behind me, but to other athletes when they compete overseas."
Ramolefi's win on Saturday confirmed his qualification for Berlin. His triumph in Stellenbosch came after two IAAF A-standard victories in the series booked his ticket to Berlin.
Ramolefi went to the championship boasting a personal best of 8:19,86 he set in the final at the Beijing Olympics in August.
Olympian Mbulaeni Mulaudzi also qualified for Berlin with a solid 1:44,81 effort in the 800m.
Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena won his long jump event with a world-class performance.
Mokoena jumped to a distance of 8,21m, beating top Senegalese long jumper and Olympian Ndiss Badji. The Phalula twins - Lebo and Lebogang - eventually got together in the same race after contesting separately in the past.
Lebo won her second gold of the championships with a runaway victory in the 1 500m, clocking 4:13,05.