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Michael Mbambani named Head Coach for SA Olympic Marathon team in Paris

A Gqeberha-based marathon coach, Mike Mbambani, has been named as the Head Coach of the South African marathon team for this year’s Olympic Games to be staged in Paris, France, between July and August.

Earlier this year, he was named Coach of the Year by Athletics South Africa. Mbambani has expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve his country.

Coach Mike Mbambani brings a wealth of experience to the South African team, where he will craft strategies for six road runners who will seek to fly the South African flag at the Games in France.

Last year, he coached the marathon team at the World Senior Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and marked his first opportunity to coach a team at a major world event.

So far, only four road runners have qualified for the Olympics namely Gerda Steyn, Cian Oldknow, Irvette van Zyl, and Stephen Mokoka.

The athletes who will fill the two spots left for male long-distance runners will be confirmed by the end of May.

SA long-distance head coach, Mike Mbambani says, “I was very surprised because South Africa has so many top athletics coaches, it was announced during the Absa Run Unified press conference by the president of ASA. It is another exposure but it’s about the team, it can never be about the individual. We need to be competitive.”

Mbambani will be hoping to share his positive energy with his athletes. He plans to set up a ten-day camp in France before heading to the Athletes Village where the South African team will be based.

” I have obtained a level 3 coaching certificate, at ASA, you need to be consistent with your athletes, conditions will be different, in Hungary, it was way too hot and we couldn’t exclude as planned, but we are hopeful this time around ”

Mbambani is also the brains behind the Ikamva Athletics Club which he founded in 2010. He has developed a reputation for developing and nurturing young long-distance runners from the townships, where he provides them with nutrition and other resources required.

Source: eNCA

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