‘It was everyone for themselves’

2012-08-06 07:38

A lack of team work has emerged as one of the factors that led to the failure of the South African women’s athletics team to win a medal in the Olympic Marathon.

The first South African home, Rene Kalmer, said after yesterday’s event that “it was everyone for themselves.”

The 31-year-old crossed the line placed 35th in 2:30.51 and her clubmate Irvette van Blerk pulled out with an Achilles sprain nearly 15km into the race.

Tanith Maxwell finished at a distant 81st spot in 2:40.27.

Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia took gold with a Games record time of 2:23.07; Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya claimed silver in 2:23.12 and Tatyana Petrova settled for bronze in a personal best 2:23.29.

Kalmer told City Press: “We didn’t really have a plan as a team. Irvette struggled with injury ... it was really everyone for themselves. But it was an amazing experience to run in the Olympic Marathon.”

Kalmer said she battled through an injury but she was glad to finish the race.

“The twists and turns (of the course) weren’t really ideal. I battled Plantar fasciitis but I was happy I could carry on and almost run a personal best. This is my second best time.”

Kalmer’s best time is 2:29.59.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue at the bottom of the foot.

Said Maxwell: “I think South Africa is still far off from that (team work). There was not even talk of team work. We all had our own different game plans.”

Kalmer said the fluctuating weather conditions on the day “was a bit bad”.

“The rain came down before the start and there was sunshine afterwards and the rain again; it was a bit bad under the circumstances.”

Said Maxwell: “I can’t say the conditions played a role.”

She said her target was a sub 2:32 but it wasn’t to be.

» Follow us on Twitter: @DanieMothowagae and @City_Press

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