ASA wants medals, not awards

Body shifts focus to improving competitiveness of SA athletes

ASA president James Moloi.
ASA president James Moloi.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Forget about the Athletics SA (ASA) awards and prepare athletes to deliver medals on the world stage. That it is the strong message from the athletics governing body. 

The ASA board has prioritised preparing the team for next season, and vowed to take the country to the top.

ASA boss James Moloi promised to channel resources into making the team competitive, and he is planning to send more than 55 athletes to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games.

The track and field team returned home from the Olympic Games in Tokyo empty-handed.

The ASA board is planning on helping the athletes redeem themselves at the Commonwealth Games, African Championships and the world championships next year. Moloi said they would leave no stone unturned to make sure that the team succeeded next season.

The juniors impressed at the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, securing a sixth place with nine medals.

The ASA board held a successful council meeting at the OR Tambo hotel in Kempton Park to map the way forward. Moloi said ASA would work with provinces to help athletes prepare for the next season.

Moloi had promised that ASA would hold the athletics awards before the end of the year but the focus has since shifted from hosting the awards to helping athletes prepare for the next season.

“There will be no awards this year, we will have them in 2022. There were no medals at the Olympics, and that saddened the federation. We have to prepare the team better for next year to ensure that we achieve. We must achieve medals and be on top of our game. The focus should be on the athletes and we will do everything to help them prepare for the championships. They can start to qualify and prepare for the busy year,” said Moloi.

Moloi said ASA was forging ahead with its plans for next season.

Moloi, who took over as ASA president in May, said they would ask the sports minister to permit them to increase the number of mass participation from 2,000 to 10,000 next year.

“We succeed by having 9,000 runners at the Cape Town Marathon and we would like to have 10,000 runners next year. If we behave, the minister will allow us to go ahead with our plans,” said Moloi.​

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