Final chance for Moloi to qualify for Olympics
AGN hoping foreign athletes will push local rivals at Pretoria meet
Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) president Hendrick Mokganyetsi is hoping that athletes will take advantage of their final league meeting of the season to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, next month.
Mokganyetsi and his team are making every effort to impress in their second league meeting before the Olympics at the University of Pretoria's Bestmed Athletics Stadium tomorrow from 11am to 2pm.
Mokganyetsi has opened the meeting to athletes from Botswana, Kenya, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia in they hope they will push local athletes to qualify for the Games.
SA women's 100m champion Reabetswe Moloi said it is now or never for her as she hopes to use the home-ground advantage to fulfil her Olympic dreams.
The likes of Irvette van Zyl, Gerda Steyn, Nolene Conrad, Dominique Scott-Efurd and Wenda Neil are some of the top female athletes that have booked their Olympic tickets.
Moloi needs to run 11.15 sec to qualify for the women's 100m and guarantee her place in the SA Olympic squad. Her personal best is 11.05 and she is confident that she can run the qualifying time at the weekend.
“I am optimistic that I can qualify for the Olympics this weekend. I feel great as I am in good shape, but I am nervous. It is winter and the weather can be unpredictable. I hope it will be warm tomorrow. The cold weather will ruin my day completely,” Moloi said.
She said she is worried about the development of female athletes in the country and feels hurt that only a few athletes have managed to qualify for the Games so far.
“I think that the development of female athletes in the country is going at a snail's pace. It is not at a level that it is supposed to be and I am disappointed. I want to qualify and inspire the up-and-coming female sprinters to dream big,” added Moloi.
Mokganyetsi said AGN has gone all out to try to bring the best possible athletes from outside to push the local athletes to qualify at the weekend.
“We are bringing in pace setters from other countries and sprinters and we hope that this will push our athletes. The stage is set for tomorrow and we have done everything possible in terms of preparations and invitations for our athletes. It is up to them to make use of the opportunity and qualify,” said Mokganyetsi.
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