South African Athletics

We need to relook season - ASA president

2015-07-21 08:52
ASA president Aleck Skhosana Picture: Photo24

Colombia - Athletics SA (ASA) president Aleck Skhosana says South African track and field has to investigate the possibility of starting the season later in the year.

"When it is the year of the World Championships we have to do two things, one is to have it in June and we have to choose a province where it is warm (during winter)," Skhosana said.

"The world championships are usually held in July and August."

Skhosana said the early start and end to the domestic season disadvantaged South African athletes when they had to compete on the global stage.

Due to the early start South African athletes peak early in the season but do not always perform to the best of their abilities when it counts at the various World Championships.

The South African team went into last week's IAAF World Youth Championships in Colombia with a number of athletes ranked among the top five in the world.

Although the team produced the goods winning five medals - two gold, two silver and a bronze - it could have been even better had all the athletes been at peak form from earlier this season.

Most of the major country's came to Colombia shortly after their own national championships.

The United States for instance had their national youth championships a week before the global showpiece while South Africa had theirs in April.

"We are excited, thanks to the athletes and their coaches for their preparations," Skhosana said.

"The last time we had competition in South Africa was in May and we were worried that many of the athletes would not be competition fit but they have proved us wrong."

He said a support system needed to be created to give South African athletes the best possible chance of succeeding.

"It is up to ASA, the parents and the Olympic federation to ensure there is a support system," he said.

"We need to channel these athletes so that they are not taken by other sports but that they remain focused and climb the ladder from youth to junior and senior level."

Skhosana said South African athletics needed to innovate to get ahead of the curb.

One way to aid the local athletes to ensure they peaked later in the year was to host meetings later in the day when it was warmer during the winter months.

"It's a matter of the time, don't start your competition at 8am but at 10am and end it at 3pm when it is still 25 degrees," Skhosana said.

"I hear people saying we had a low profile season which is a good thing because it has allowed our athletes to go outside of the continent and compete in small competitions to advance to the Diamond League.

"We need to keep on adapting and changing until we get the best results.

"We've been doing what we are doing for a long time and the time has come to change for the benefit of the athletes."


Read more on:    asa  |  aleck skhosana  |  athletics

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