South African Athletics

April taking it step by step

2013-11-04 19:30
Lusapho April (AFP)

Johannesburg - Lusapho April will not be chasing fast times until he is ready to do so, says his coach Karen Zimmerman.

April finished third in the New York City Marathon on Sunday and is likely to receive a flood of invites from race organisers around the globe.

His time in the Big Apple was more than three minutes outside the 14-year-old South African record of 2:06:33 held by Gert Thys, and more than six minutes off the world record of 2:03:23 set by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang at the Berlin Marathon in September.

"In quicker races he'll need to run 2:03 or 2:04 to win, and he's close to that, but he's not there yet," Zimmerman said on Monday.

"We would rather he finishes in the top five in more challenging races than set a national record and finish 20th in a race on a fast, flat course.

"We'll get him to that level, but he's not quite there."

April, who produced the best performance by a South African in New York since Hendrick Ramaala finished third in 2007, was delighted with his podium finish, despite finishing more than a minute outside his personal best of 2:08:32.

"I'm happy to run well for South Africa," said the 31-year-old distance runner.

"When I won in Hannover (in May) it was the first time I started a marathon fully fit and without problems, so I felt I could run under 2:09 (in New York), but I'm happy with third."

Zimmerman admitted they had not yet decided on their plans for next season, but if Athletics SA's (ASA) suspension from the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) was lifted ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, April might need to race more than he would like.

"We'll sit down and decide what we're going to do next year, but we like to do two marathons a year," she said.

"It will depend on the situation between ASA and Sascoc, but I'm sure they'll sort out their issues, so if we're allowed to compete in the Commonwealth Games, we might need to do three marathons next year.

"Lusapho needs to make money as well, because it's his profession, so he might do two city marathons and the Commonwealth Games."

Read more on:    new york marathon  |  athletics

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.