April in dark after ASA woes

2013-07-14 19:05
Lusapho April (Gallo Images)

Durban - South Africa's top marathon athlete Lusapho April says he is in the dark regarding arrangements for the World Marathon Championships in Moscow next month.

"I don't know anything about the Moscow course but hope that I can go over around the Thursday before the Sunday race," April said after winning the Spa-Mama Savages 21km race in Durban on Sunday.

"At present we have heard nothing about arrangements (for the world championships)."

In-fighting at Athletics SA (ASA) and their subsequent suspension by South Africa's Olympic body Sascoc had left athletes in the dark over arrangements for the World Championships.

ASA president, James Evans, had stated the International Association of Athletics Federations had agreed to fund South African athletes who qualified for Moscow but, to date, no further information had been forthcoming.

April clocked a career-best time of two hours, eight minutes, 32 seconds (2:08:32) to win the Hannover Marathon in Germany in early May to book his place for the global showpiece.

The 30-year-old is currently South Africa's best marathon athlete recording the fastest time since Hendrick Ramaala's 2009 London Marathon time of 2:07:44.

The recent cancellation of the South African 21km Championships in Witbank prompted April, and his coach Karen Zimmerman, to make the trip up from East London to compete in Durban.

He had hoped to dip under 62 minutes, but a fast early pace into a moderate breeze put paid to those plans.

The Border athlete, however, was dominant taking the line honours in 1:05:35 leaving Samuel Pazanga and Sithembile Faneko to duel for second and third over one minute adrift.

"This was a replacement for the SA (21km) champs," April said.

"Although I had hoped to run faster I'm happy with the run."

London Olympic marathoner Tanith Maxwell won the women's event in a time of 1:18:01.

She was followed by Cary-Ann Smith in second place in 1:21:00, while Lineo Chaka grabbed bronze in 1:21:01.

Maxwell was also concerned about the lack of information from ASA ahead of the world championships.

"Although there was some initial contact about the championships, we have not received any confirmation of selection and everything is just word of mouth or on social network at present," Maxwell said.

"I've just tried to focus on training and hope it will all come together.

"I'm hoping I can improve on my two hour 32 minute best in Moscow and my training feels on track."

Read more on:    asa  |  athletics

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