Aleck Skhosana says financial constraints is why the team came home with no medals from Doha. Photo: BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG  Athletics SA have said financial constraints have hampered their performances on the track after failing to win a single medal at the Doha World Championships which ended earlier this month.

This was revealed at a General Council Meeting held in Johannesburg on Sunday.

The meeting concentrated on preparing for future major contests including the Olympic Games in Japan next year, African Senior Championships, IAAF Diamond League, the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships.

Spelling out the reality faced by SA athletics president Aleck Skhosana said that while the country continues to be respected on global athletics, constraints on finances have impacted on delivering of the final teams to world competitions including at youth and juniors.

“ASA is not immune to the economic downturn that is affecting every industry in the world. We had to cut on many of our projects in order to prioritise on the core business of the organisation,” said Skhosana.

“During the June 2019 AGM, we reported that the reduction of our allocation from the broadcast rights by the SABC is impacting hugely on ASA, especially because it came without prior notice.

“Despite all these challenges, we did not cut the number of athletes to championships especially those who qualified for the African and World Championships.

"Instead, we cut down to the bare minimum on management and coaches - where necessary.”

“We sincerely thank the National Lotteries Commission for always being there to assist ASA deliver essential programmes that make us a livewire in Africa and a power player in the world. We’ll go back to Commission cap-in-hand to ask for more in order to prepare for the Olympics.”

While ASA accepted the failure to win medals at the IAAF World Champions in Doha, the federation was pleased to reflect on other successes achieved at the IAU World 50km in Romania where SA came back with a silver medal in the individual and gold in the team competition.

ASA has begun talks to establish partnerships with Jamaica (Caribbean), Kenya, Ethiopia (East Africa), China and Japan (East Asia), as South Africa take note of their respective strengths in certain events.

ASA intends to expand the cooperation it had with Kenya in November 2018 in developing cross country, middle and long distance athletes in South Africa.

ASA has therefore seen the obvious need to host Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes, and coaches for a training camp in SA to perhaps coincide with their respective cross country season of November and December 2019.  

African News Agency (ANA)