Sunday Tribune

Moloi outsprints Skhosana for ASA top spot

- NEW Athletics South Africa president James Moloi MATSHELANE MAMABOLO

JAMES Moloi will now have to walk the talk after he was elected as Athletics South Africa's (ASA) new president yesterday.

Moloi won the elections by 39 votes to depose Aleck Skhosana who managed only 27 votes as his six-year reign came to an end.

The immediate reaction from the athletics fraternity was one of delight with some declaring that "the future is bright".

Prior to yesterday's ballot in Kempton Park, many athletes had lamented the lack of action while contact sports such as soccer and rugby resumed following the Covid-19-imposed government regulation­s.

While Skhosana dug his heels in and refused to allow for athletic events to resume, Moloi – in his role as Central Gauteng Athletics boss and ASA Road Running head – was at the forefront calling for the return to action. And he succeeded as he hosted a successful cross-country event and the half-marathon championsh­ips at CGA during strict Covid-19 restrictio­ns.

Many felt Skhosana dropped the ball in his role as ASA president as he focused on challengin­g for the Sascoc top job that he eventually failed to land.

Besides 'being on the athletes' side', Moloi talked a good game, promising that, should he be elected, athletics in general would get more television coverage than it currently receives.

He reasoned that it was only through having events live on television that ASA would be able to attract proper sponsorshi­ps and intimated that he was best suited to do just that.

Last week the national half-marathon championsh­ips went on without live television coverage, with the SABC broadcasti­ng the race only the following day.

Moloi's immediate challenge will be to ensure that the athletics team that will represent South Africa at the Olympics later in the year shines.

His predecesso­r Skhosana had highlighte­d in his election manifesto that under his leadership the country had shone bright on the world stage.

He pointed at the achievemen­ts of the likes of Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk to illustrate his point.

"If you look at my term, we have produced world champions such as Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk. Our 4 by 100m relay team has recently won gold at the World Relay Championsh­ips. That alone shows the wonderful work I have done,“Skhosana said.

The majority of the electorate however went with Moloi, a former runner who has been at the helm of CGA and road running for a while now.

Meanwhile, Shireen Noble was elected as vice-president and becomes the first woman to hold such a high rank since ASA'S inception.

There were also elections for chairperso­ns of the different commission­s namely:

Cross Country: Jakes Jacobs

Road Running: Enoch Skhosana Track and Field: Jan Verster Athletics: Hendrick Mokganyets­i

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