All on track for Berlin

MARATHON runners Johannes Kekana, Norman Dlomo, Lusapho April, Coolboy Ngamula and lone woman Tanith Maxwell are in camp in Potchefstroom preparing for the World Championships in Berlin, Germany, in August.

MARATHON runners Johannes Kekana, Norman Dlomo, Lusapho April, Coolboy Ngamula and lone woman Tanith Maxwell are in camp in Potchefstroom preparing for the World Championships in Berlin, Germany, in August.

They are under the mentorship of top Kenyan athletics coach, Danson Muchoki.

April represented South Africa at the World Student Games. He replaced Hendrick Ramaala who withdrew after accusing the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee of failing to pay him the revenue he lost in the build-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The sixth runner, experienced campaigner Enos Matalane, is still to join the rest of the athletes in Potchefstroom. His wife is reported to be pregnant.

Matalane's failure to join the team at the high performance centre since June 1 has not gone down well with other members.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Poppy Mlambo, the former South African half marathon champion, has been asked by ASA to help Maxwell in her preparations.

ASA general manager Molatelo Malehopo said: "The marathon team has been in camp since June 1 to prepare for the World Championships.

"Coach Muchoki, who has done extremely well with various athletics greats in Kenya, is excited that the camp has been going according to plan.

"It has been a long time that we (South Africa) won a medal in the marathon at the World Championships."

Malehopo added that runners in camp will leave for Port Elizabeth on Saturday to take part in the Nedbank South African Half Marathon Championships.

"After the half marathon championships, Kekana and company will go back to Potchefstroom to wrap up their preparations for Berlin," Malehopo said.

Some of the top athletes set to represent South Africa in Germany are Ruben Ramolefi, Khotso Mokoena, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Tsholofelo Thipe.

ASA president Leonard Chuene said: "Our preparations for the World Championships are going well. We hope to do well and return with a number of medals."

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