25 Apr WHAT ATHLETES SAID AFTER ASA SENIOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPS
After a successful Day 3 and final day of the ASA Senior Track and Field National Championships in Cape Town on Saturday 23 April, this is what the athletes said:
Wayne Snyman: men’s 20km Race Walk winner (1:28:46)
I defended my title and it was a good day. Everyone said it would be cold, but it was a perfect day to do the race walk. The weather played a part and the sun came out. It was a perfect day in Cape Town. I am happy that I got the qualifying time in both the 20km and the 35km, and I will represent South Africa in the World Championships in the USA in July. I am confident that I can make the podium. I will do both events. It was my final national senior championship. I enjoyed myself, and I am in good health. The competition was great, and the youngsters are coming through the ranks.
Marissa Swanepoel: women’s 20km Race Walk winner (1:44:28)
The weather was fantastic and this was my first big race for the season. I was aiming for 1:45 and this is a surprise, and I am happy with my time. I qualified for the African Championships in Mauritius and I hope to make the team. I did what I came here for and I hope to have a great year. I am a South African champion and it means a lot to me.
Sinesipho Dambile: men 200m winner (20.55)
I have won my first 200m senior title. I came here to win the championship. I was not nervous because I know these guys and they inspire me, but I came here to deliver and win the gold medal. I was not tired and did not over-race myself coming into the big one. It was my first year as a senior and I exceeded my expectations.
Tshepo Tshite: men 800m winner (1:49:18)
It feels great to be the South African champion and I am happy to win the gold medal in windy conditions. I had to be smart and run a good race against good athletes. I saved my strength for the final. This is my third title in a row and I want to dominate this race for a long time to come. I want to thank my coach Samuel Sepeng for the long preparations that we’ve been doing.
Glenrose Xaba: women 10 000m winner (32.31:49)
I am happy that I won the national title for the first time because I ran my new personal best. I want to thank my coach Caster Semenya for supporting me. Caster paced me and dropped out after six laps because we discussed it in training. We agreed that she must pace me because she is the coach and my training partner. To keep the energy we had to come up with this plan. The weather was bad and the wind made things difficult for me.
Zeney van der Walt: women 400m hurdles winner (57:75)
It is an honour to run against Wenda Nel and she pushed me to be a champion. I did not focus on the time and wanted to win the title. I will go to Europe to prepare for the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. I am going back to training to work hard and increase my time. I knew it was going to be a fight and knew I would win the race after jumping the last hurdle.
Wenda Nel: women’s 400m hurdles second-place (59:55)
The tears are coming out and I am emotional. It is a bitter feeling as I felt confident about winning my 10th title. I fought to the line and did not give up. Well done to Zeney van der Walt for winning the race. I ended my last championship with a fight. I had lots of fun and wanted to win because I worked hard.
Sokwakhana Zazini: men’s 400m hurdles winner (49:84)
It is my first senior title and this one is for the books. I had to fight for this one and the wind was terrible. I am going to the South African University Championships and then to Europe. I want to prove myself on the track and make myself proud. I want to focus on the track and achieve a lot this year.
Zakithi Nene: men’s 400m winner (45:51)
I came here to defend my title and I did it. I am not concerned with the time the weather made it hard for me. I wanted to run a sub-45, but the wind was terrible. I am healthy and have a lot of work to do. I can achieve a lot if I continue to work hard.
Deline Mpiti: women’s 400m winner (52:82)
I am the two-time South African champion in the 200m. I was not the favourite to defend my title, but I trusted the process and came into the race with a good plan. I hope to run the qualifying time and work hard in training. If I can run a 51:40 I will qualify for the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Banele Shabangu: women’s 200m winner (23:92)
I have won it a lot as a junior and now I believe that I am the queen of the 200m title. I am overwhelmed and do not know what to say. I worked hard and I am proud of myself. I dedicate this to myself because it is my first senior title. I am on the road to greatness.
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