Mogawane blasts ASA for 'lack of development'

Chances of SA getting medal in Tokyo are slim – ex-sprinter

Ofentse Mogawane competes during the heats of the mens 400 Metres at the 10th IAAF World Athletics Championships on August 9, 2005 in Helsinki, Finland.
Ofentse Mogawane competes during the heats of the mens 400 Metres at the 10th IAAF World Athletics Championships on August 9, 2005 in Helsinki, Finland.
Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Commonwealth Games silver medalist Ofentse Mogawane is not the one to shy away from voicing his opinion.

The retired 39-year-old sprinter-turned-businessman says Athletics SA will consider themselves lucky if they can come back home with a medal from the Olympic Games taking place in Tokyo, Japan, in July.

The former 4x400m International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championship silver medalist blasted ASA for lack of development.

Mogawane, who owns a second-hand car dealership in Tshwane, said the standard of athletics has dropped drastically and we have slim chances of returning from the Olympic Games with a medal.

SA sprint ace Akani Simbine is ASA's big hope of winning a medal going into the Games. Olympic 400m record-holder Wayde van Niekerk (43.03) spent almost two years injured and has recently returned to the track and field events.

“Akani can make the finals, but I don't see him winning a medal. ASA failed in terms of developing the athletes. I do not think that Wayde has fully recovered from his injury. He can also make the finals, but not the podium. There is no succession plan.

"We are going to the Olympics, but it is hard to see us winning a medal. I went to the University of Pretoria to see them train and they look to be in great shape. But I do not see them making the podium in Japan," Mogawane told Sowetan yesterday.

Mogawane is planning to get his coaching badges in June under Athletics Gauteng North. 

His younger brother Kefilwe is a 400m hurdles rising star and he spends most of his time coaching him and molding him into a promising athlete.

Mogawane famously won a 4x400m relay silver with Paralympian Oscar Pistorius and LJ van Zyl in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011.

Track and field meetings are back in SA, but he says there is a shortage of competition locally and athletes have to go to Europe to up their standard. The IAAF World Relays Championships will be on May 1 and 2 in Poland.

Chederick van Wyk, Simbine, Clarence Munyai and Simon Magakwe will carry the hopes of the nation at the world relay championship.

Mogawane, who also won a silver medal in the 4x400m relays at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2006, threw his weight behind the team.

"It's quick and easy to make mistakes in the 4x100m relays. If one athlete makes a mistake, the whole team is out. I saw the four athletes train and we need to support them. The coach must get the first running order correct," added Mogawane.

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