22 Apr WHAT THE ATHLETES SAID AT THE ASA CHAMPs AT GREEN POINT STADIUM. – DAY 1
Akani Simbine: men’s 100m winner (10.31) : “Mentally, it has been a rough couple of weeks because everyone has criticised me, saying I am no longer the same athlete since the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, last year. But for me, it is about trusting the plan with my coach Warner Prinsloo. We don’t allow anybody to get to us. We came to Cape Town to prove that actions speak louder than words. I wanted to prove a point by defending my title at the national championships. I did it, and I do not care what the other athletes say. They can chat behind my back, but I do not care. When it is time to produce, I will make the podium finish. I came here to silence the critics.”
Carina Horn: women’s 100m winner (11.54): “I am happy about winning the national title and it was all about the title coming here. I did the three races without getting injured. You have to know how to run the championships, starting with the heat and the semi-final. I came here to see if I could handle the pressure and I did it. I did not run a fast time, but I am happy with winning the three races. I am relieved to be a champion again. I am slowly getting back to my best.”
Dominique Scott-Efurd: Women’s 5000m winner (15:28:10) I was not concerned with making it a fast race, and I wanted to win the national title. Caster Semenya is a brilliant runner who has a super-fast kick and I knew I shouldn’t leave it until the last lap. I planned to see how the race would unfold before making my move. I waited to see if we would run a fast race. I told myself that I should run at my usual 10km pace. I relaxed, running at this pace. I decided to make my move with four laps to go and go for the win. I tried to make it decisive and I am happy with my race. My whole family came out in their numbers to support me.
Mbuleli Mathanga: Men’s 10 000m winner (28:22:74): I am happy to defend my title against good runners like Elroy Gelant and Gladwin Mzazi. I doubted that I would win the race, but I did it because my coach Mdu Khumalo told me to believe in myself. I am confident this is my year to win big races and qualify for the World Championships in the USA in July and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August. My year is slowly picking up. I want to thank my family for their support and everyone that believes in me. I will continue to work hard and do my best to keep on winning.”