The South African athletics team has returned from the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar landing at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon.
Without any medals to show from the 10-day war, the team touched down at 2.55 pm*, arriving to a low key reception of family members, onlookers and admirers.
Luvo Manyonga, who relinquished his long jump world crown at the championship to finish 4th, said: "I am so happy that I finished my season healthy. That's the most important thing for me because I had a little niggle in my ankle. I made it through the season, so I just want to go back home and celebrate the position I got.
“The season was long but I made it through and it's a blessing to have made it to the competition and see so many South Africans in the crowd. I can't change what happened. I just need to look forward to the future and come back strong."
Zeney van der Walt, world youth and world U20 champion, who ended 6th in the women’s 400m hurdles: “It was my first senior worlds, so I had a lot to learn out of it. The lesson learnt will help me to prepare as I focus to the future at this level. I’m now off-season and looking at resuming for the new season around November with the aim of making the Olympic team to Tokyo next year.”
Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa: “Like the rest of the country, we are not happy we didn’t bring back any medals, but we will look into all aspects of our participation in this championship in order to move forward.”
* Record subject to standard ratification processes
Issued By ASA