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Thu Apr 24 14:44:54 SAST 2014

The Soweto Marathon has been called off again

Sapa | 11 October, 2013 06:190 Comments
Runners at the finish of the Soweto Marathon
Image by: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

The Soweto Marathon has been cancelled after efforts to save it failed.

"After two weeks of gruelling deliberations and fund-raising efforts by the interim committee, a difficult decision was reached to abort this year's Soweto Marathon," the Gauteng Department of Sport said yesterday.

The Soweto Marathon Trust, which was tasked with organising the race, initially announced in September it had been forced to cancel the event as it could not secure funds from Athletics SA's broadcast deal with the SABC.

However, ASA at the time denied the race had been cancelled and vowed it would make an effort to ensure that it was held on November 3.

Gauteng sport MEC Lebogang Maile then set up a committee consisting of representatives of the City of Johannesburg, Central Gauteng Athletics, the Gauteng Sport Council and the Soweto Sport Council.

"It's heartbreaking to see the Soweto Marathon . facing such serious challenges," Maile said yesterday.

"As the provincial government we want to immediately support the organisers in preparing for next year's marathon so they are able to present a world-class event at the time when the country [will be] celebrating 20 years of our democracy."

The department said due to time constraints it would not be possible to prepare for a race of this magnitude in two weeks.

"The committee has been able to raise about 80% of the requisite budget but there is a R1-million shortfall," the MEC said.

ASA president James Evans declined to comment.

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