Athletics SA clawing its way back from the Covid-19 unknown

Johannesburg – At last! The sport of athletics has finally been given the go-ahead by Athletics South Africa to resume in Mzansi next month.

In a statement on Friday morning, the governing body announced that “training and controlled competition activity” will resume from November 1 following the Covid-19 lockdown.

Many top athletes, such as long jump star Ruswahl Samaai, have complained about the continued delay for athletics to be staged in this country, as well as for athletics to train.

Samaai, Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine, Antonio Alkana and others had to fly to Europe to compete in events over the last few months, as local athletes were not allowed to use any facilities in South Africa.

On Tuesday, Samaai tweeted: “How is it possible that our Athletics stadiums/tracks is still closed when so many sporting codes in our country has resume with their training. Why is one of the most social distancing sports struggling to get access to training facilities?”

In a statement on Friday, Athletics SA said: “For track and field, the maximum number of participants at a competition venue at any given time will also not exceed 500 (including athletes, technical officials, volunteers, medical team, media/broadcasting team (where relevant) and stadium workers.

No spectators will be allowed at both running and track and field events. All rules and restrictions pertaining to the allowed events will be reviewed at the end of December 2020 in consultation with the Sports and Health Departments.

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