Tag Archives: Athletics South Africa

CAPE TOWN MARATHON BECOMES ABBOTT WORLD MARATHON MAJORS

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has officially been confirmed as an Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) candidate race – the first marathon in Africa to be nominated.

The announcement marks the commencement of a multi-year evaluation process conducted by AbbottWMM.
In order to become a Major, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon will be required to meet certain criteria for three years and if successful, will join an elite group of races – Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW-BERLIN Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon – as a new member of the prestigious Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2025.

“We have always believed that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon could be Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major, so becoming a candidate race is a tremendous honour”, said Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Chairman, Francois Pienaar at the announcement event at Cape Town Stadium.

“It acknowledges the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon as a global event that has consistently delivered a top quality world-class race, and one that continuously innovates and creates world-first initiatives like the immersive audio experience during the 2020 virtual race.

“Becoming an Abbott World Marathon Major would be like hosting a world championship event every single year, and achieving this status would be a tremendous boost for the city, country and continent. Africa is home to the best marathon runners in the world and we hope they will get the opportunity to run an Abbott World Marathon Major on home turf in the coming years.”

Headline sponsor Sanlam is celebrating its eighth sponsorship year and is equally thrilled at the prospect of the event becoming a jewel in the AbbottWMM crown.
Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Sanlam Brand, says: “This is our eighth year as headline sponsor of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we have always believed deeply in the vision for this race – to become Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Major. Africa is our home, this is our race and we are absolutely committed to investing in the potential of this wonderful continent. Our purpose is to help people across Africa live with confidence and this race is the perfect way to foster the growth of Africa’s economy, and to showcase our people’s unparalleled potential.  Creating a lasting legacy for generations to come is a vision and dream we share with all our partners.

“And now we are celebrating coming a step closer. The collective confidence that the continent will garner from hosting an event of this stature will deliver value in many ways, enabling us to benefit economically and socially from a world-class event. We extend our sincerest congratulations to all of our partners who have worked tirelessly to elevate the event to this level. We have no doubt that in just three short years, we will tick all the boxes and have the honour of hosting the continent’s first major on home soil.”

Cape Town is a port city on the tip of South Africa’s southwest coast that is overlooked by the world-renowned Table Mountain, an official New7Wonder of Nature. It is consistently rated as one of the world’s most beautiful cities and most popular tourist destinations – renowned for its exquisite natural beauty, sweeping vistas, beaches, family friendly activities and some of the best restaurants in the world.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato said that this candidacy means a lot for Cape Town, South Africa and Africa, and will further solidify the Mother City’s reputation as a sports capital. “We are proud to be the host of SA and Africa’s first Abbott World Marathon Majors Candidate and wholeheartedly support the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in the coming years.

“We know that these evaluation years will already offer a tremendous economic boost for Cape Town and its residents, and expect an annual influx of approximately 10,000 international athletes and their supporters in the coming years – especially once the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon earns Abbott World Marathon Major status. We can’t wait to welcome more recreational and elite marathoners to Cape Town; it’s time to show the world how we run a marathon to the African beat.”

Pienaar noted that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon already meets many of the requirements set by the Abbott World Marathon Majors, and that continued enhancements will be made to the race. This also includes a new strategic partnership with Infront, the media and marketing specialists who will join the event on this exciting journey, noted Pienaar. “We are pulling out all the stops to achieve these goals, and are excited to receive the support from our runners, spectators, sponsors and the City to make this dream a reality.”

Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, Senior Vice President Personal & Corporate Fitness at Infront, said: “We are happy to become a shareholder of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and we fully buy into the ambition to reach AbbottWMM status by 2025. This is exciting news for the city of Cape Town, South Africa and Africa. Our direct involvement forms part of our growing ambition to further enter the African market and will both strengthen our relationship with the AbbottWMM as well as support future business opportunities.”

Added James Moloi, President of Athletics South Africa: “This is an important step in the history of road-running in the country and Africa as a whole. It will be a significant recognition which would elevate the race to another prestigious level.”

Tim Hadzima, Executive Director, Abbott World Marathon Majors said, “The Abbott World Marathon Majors are delighted to welcome the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon into the candidate process from 2022. This presents an exciting opportunity to expand our impact into Africa and further our mission to create, grow and support opportunities for all to discover the power of the marathon community. We look forward to working closely with the team in Cape Town as we start this journey together!”

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon has been growing in popularity for the better part of the last decade, with its route offering spectacular ocean scenery and mountain views, while passing many of the City’s great attractions from its famous street art to its iconic historical features – including City Hall, where Nelson Mandela delivered his first public speech as a free man in 1990.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was awarded the prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Status for the fourth consecutive year in 2020 – the only marathon on the African continent and one of only a select group of marathons in the world to have this status.

In addition to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, China’s Chengdu Marathon is also currently an AbbottWMM candidate race. The Singapore Marathon recently dropped out of the process.

The 2021 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is scheduled to take place on 17 October 2021. Entries are open at www.capetownmarathon.com.

Athletics South Africa pays tribute to late Nicholas Bett

Athletics South Africa (ASA) is saddened by the news of the sudden death of Kenyan athlete Nichollas Kiplagat Bett, who passed away on Wednesday morning, a day after returning from 21st CAA African Senior Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.

According to Nandi police commander Patrick Wambani, the 28 year-old former 400m hurdles 2015 world champion, seemed to lose control after the car hit bumps along Eldoret-Kapsabet road in Sochoi area and rolled

Eldoret and Kapsabet, are two of Kenya’s famed distance-running training towns in the Rift Valley region in the west of the country and are also renowned for high altitude training.

Bett’s twin brother, Aron, is also an athlete and was part of the Kenyan 4×400 team that won gold at African championships in Asaba last week.

“This are sad news and most difficult to swallow,” pointed out a saddened Aleck Skhosana, the President of ASA.

“It is a big blow to African athletics, to Kenya and the world.

“In particular, we had expected him to grow to become one of the best in the coaching of 400m athletes in benefit of Kenyan and all athletes in the continent and beyond upon retirement. We remember him also for winning the bronze medals at the African championships in 2014 in the 400 hurdles and 4x400m relay,” he said.

“We express our deepest condolences to his twin brother Aron, the Bett family, Athletics Kenya and the rest of the nation for this tragic and unexpected loss.”

Source: sport24.co.za

South Africa Names Caster Semenya, Luvo Manyonga in 65-man Preliminary Squad

A full-strength preliminary team has been unveiled by Athletics South Africa (ASA) for the 2018 CAA African Senior Championships to be held in Asaba, Delta State between 1-5 August.

The squad includes the likes of 2017 World Championships medalists Luvo Manyonga, Caster Semenya and Ruswahl Samaai.

Also included in the strong squad are former Olympic medalists Khotso Mokoena and Sunette Viljoen, as well as veteran Hammer Throw athlete, Chris Harmse.

Officials of the Athletics Federation of South Africa explained that they are keen at utilising the biennial continental championships to be staged in Asaba to prepare their athletes for the 2019 IAAF World Senior Championships and other major global events over the next few seasons.

The national Preliminary Team consists of a healthy blend of youth and experience.

Among the talented young stars who are featured in the squad, are IAAF U18 world champions Sokwakhana Zazini, Breyton Poole and Zeney van der Walt, who are some of the nation’s top contenders for titles at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland next month.

Of the 65 athletes in the Preliminary Team, which consists of 39 men and 26 women, a total of 18 individuals are under the age of 21.

The final national team will be announced in July closer to the event.

South Africa won the last two editions of the African Championships in Marrakech and Durban and are now hoping to complete a hat-trick of wins in Asaba.

The Asaba 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championship will be held at the newly-built Stephen Keshi Stadium from August 1-5, 2018 with over 52 countries expected to participate.

Gender Commission fully behind Caster Semenya

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has expressed its dismay that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has decided to amend its regulations once again in November 2018.

The new regulations would require female athletes to maintain testosterone levels below 5 nanomoles per litre for a continuous period of at least six months.

This has led to athletes, like Semenya, who are known to produce high levels of testosterone, being placed squarely in the spotlight.

The Commission for Gender Equality believes the new regulations are discriminatory against athletes falling into this category.

The CGE has called upon UN Women, the Department of Sports and Recreation, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to offer their support to Semenya as the Commission believes the IAAF new regulations are discriminatory.

The statement went on to state that ‘It cannot be that female athletes that produce 5 percent of nanomoles are subjected to this unjust and unfair regulations contrary to many conventions and protocols that are there to protect and promote unfair treatment of female athletes/women from abuse and discrimination.’

The Commission reiterated its support for the legal challenge launched by Semenya with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland on Monday against the new regulation in order to ensure that the rights of all women are safeguarded and protected.

We are also making a clarion call to like-minded institutions to unequivocally raise their voices in support of Semenya. The CGE agrees with Semenya’ submission to CAS that the IAAF must set aside the new regulations even before they are implemented pending the finalisation of her legal challenge.

sport24.co.za

South Africa unveils strong team for IAAF U20 Junior champs

A powerful 19-member team will represent South Africa at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Junior Championships to be held in Tampere, Finland from July 10 to 15.

The final team, consisting of 13 men and six women, features a number of athletes who will enter their respective disciplines among the favourites for medals.

Sprinter Thando Dlodlo, shot putter Kayle Blignaut and 400m hurdler Zeney van der Walt, have all been in record form this season, breaking SA Junior marks during the domestic campaign.

Having won global Youth titles at the IAAF World U18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last year, versatile 400m hurdles star Sokwakhana “Soks” Zazini, High Jump prodigy Breyton Poole and Van der Walt will all be aiming for back-to-back crowns.

“While South Africa finished 22nd at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Junior Championships with three silver medals, we went on to finish top of the table at the IAAF World U18 Championships last year with 11 medals. These crop of athletes have proved they have the ability to deliver a significant improvement at the junior showpiece,” said Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana.

“We are confident in this young group of talented athletes, who have all proved they have what it takes to compete against the best in the world at the very highest level of our sport in their age division. We wish them well and we trust they will perform to the best of their ability.”

Youth athletes who were included in the provisional SA team for the biennial IAAF World U20 Junior Championships were removed in line with a local and international move to lift some of the pressure on younger athletes in development age groups.

Instead, U18 athletes will concentrate on the CAA African Youth Games to be held in Algiers, Algeria from July 18 to 28, in the build-up to the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina between October 6 to 18.

sport24.co.za