South African Athletics

It’s a bumper year for Mzansi athletics

2018-01-21 06:08
PLEASED: ASA president Aleck Skhosana is pleased with the bumper calendar his organisation has for 2018.

Johannesburg - Athletics South Africa (ASA) has ­released its annual event calendar and it promises plenty of action on the track and on the road.

Prominent athletes have already started outlining their plans for the season. Top runners Mapaseka ­Makhanya and Elroy Gelant have ­resumed their training and are looking forward to breaking records. They are preparing for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships to be held in Valencia, Spain, in March.

Stop at nothing

Gelant is also gunning for a win at the Sanlam Cape Town marathon on ­September 23.

Makhanya secured second place in the Soweto 42.2km marathon in November. She will want to reclaim the popular Spar Ladies 10km Grand Prix title, which Kesa Molotsane won last year.

Makhanya said she started training at the beginning of the year.

“I have a jam-packed programme and am looking forward to the World champs.

“But my biggest challenge is to win the Spar Ladies and I will stop at nothing until I achieve that goal. I will do the Two Oceans half marathon and other smaller races".

Gelant is working with his new coach, Springs Phakathi. He intends to get more experience in marathon events. His training partners are Joel Mmone and Thabang Mosiako.

Gelant said: “I want to win the Cape Town Marathon, with my ultimate goal being to run the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. This year, I will do a marathon in ­Europe and a few track races locally to improve my fitness".

Bumper season

The inaugural Grand Prix Series in March will set the tone for the season. It starts in Johannesburg on March 1, before moving to Tshwane on March 8 and finishing in Paarl on March 22.

Other events to look forward to are the SA Senior Championships from March 15 to 17, the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, ­England, from March 2 to 4 and the Commonwealth Games in Australia from April 4 to 15.

ASA president Aleck Skhosana said: “We have put everything into making this a bumper season for athletics fans".

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