History against athletes at Olympics

FORMER Olympian athlete, Hendrick Ramaala

FORMER Olympian athlete, Hendrick RamaalaJOHANNESBURG , (CAJ News)  FORMER Olympian athlete, Hendrick Ramaala, has played down the prospects of two of his protégées, Sibusiso Nzima and Lungile Gongqa, in the Olympics.

The pair will represent South Africa in the marathon at the Games in Rio, Brazil.

“They are still novices when it comes to marathon running and it is the first time that they will be competing at the Games,” says a realistic Ramalaa, the Nedbank Club coach.

“My advice to them is not to go out there and expect to win. I just want both of them to run to the best of their abilities. Then whatever happens, happen,” he says in the club’s official website.

That way, he says they will not be under pressure.

“What will help them is the fact that there will be no real expectations for them to perform. Who knows, one of them might just be able to get a top 10 finish.  But as their coach I would be happy with a top 20 finish.”

Ramalaa competed in four Olympics, his twelfth place finish at the 2000 Games in Sydney, a highlight.

Josiah Thugwane is the only local athlete to win gold, in 1996 in Atlanta.

Sports Reporter

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