Ramaala gunning for title
Moscow - Athletics SA vice-president Hendrick Ramaala has lofty ambitions for the men's marathon at IAAF World Championships in Moscow on Saturday.
The 41-year-old hoped to put in his best performance at the world championships in a number of years despite his age.
"I'm hoping this (world championships) will be the best of the best compared to the last six," said the Johannesburg based athlete. He is attending his seventh world championships.
"My best position was ninth in Paris 2003. This time I'm hoping to improve on that."
Ramaala, however, was realistic about what time he could manage to run which would leave him well-behind the leaders.
"On a good day I think I can repeat that 2:12. I'm in 2:11 2:12 shape."
He will be joined on the starting line by Sibusiso Mzima. A notable absentee is genuine medal prospect Lusapho April, who has an Achilles injury.
"The withdrawal of Lusapho dealt a hard blow to us, because we really thought he was going to be the man to watch.
"He was going to be one of the potential medalists at his best," said Ramaala who advises a number of up-and-coming athletes, including his teammate Mzima.
"But we still have Subusiso and myself. The young man and the old man, you will see us up there we will try our best."
The Moscow course is a fast one that starts and finishes in the 1980 Olympic stadium and has runners compete over a short lap before completing three more laps of 10km.
There are no hills and few bends other that the seven wide 180 degree lap turns that have a minimal impact on overall times.