Top athletics coach optimistic after students win in Belgrade

WINNER: Middle distance coach Mlungisi Mnyengeza, left, with gold medalist Sibabalwe Mzazi. Pic. circa July 2009. © Unknown.
WINNER: Middle distance coach Mlungisi Mnyengeza, left, with gold medalist Sibabalwe Mzazi. Pic. circa July 2009. © Unknown.

TOP middle distance coach Mlungisi "Jazz" Mnyengeza says South Africa's incredible achievement in the 10000m at the 25th World Student Games in Belgrade will benefit the country at the 2012 London Olympics.

TOP middle distance coach Mlungisi "Jazz" Mnyengeza says South Africa's incredible achievement in the 10000m at the 25th World Student Games in Belgrade will benefit the country at the 2012 London Olympics.

This was after Sibabalwe Mzazi and Lungisa Mdedelwa got onto the podium after winning gold and bronze respectively in this biennial competition where over 140 countries participated.

Mnyengeza said: "Lungisa and Sibabalwe have done us proud. It has been a long time since South Africa have produced a great result in an international competition in the 10000m. The last successful South African athlete in the 10000m was Hendrick Ramaala, now one of the world's top marathon runners. We have laid a solid foundation for the Commonwealth Games in India next year and the London Olympics.

"We must continue helping Sibabalwe and Lungisa so that they continue doing well internationally."

Mnyengeza, who has attended a series of coaching courses in Kenya, said exposing young athletes to international competitions will benefit the country.

"The role played by University Sport South Africa is highly appreciated. Athletes like Hezekiel Sepeng, Marius Corbett, Llewellyn Herbert and Ruben Ramolefi all started at the World Student Games and went on to become superstars.

We would also like to thank Athletics South Africa for their excellent development programme. We are working hard to bring back black women into the sport."

The Ga-Rankuwa-based Mnyengeza is also an athletics coach at the Tshwane University of Technology.

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