Listen: Alana Mayor, Olympics, Ilana discussed on BBC World Service
"Best hopes for a medal. Ilana new the eyes of a new nation on her. Huge expectation. There was a lot of pressure to to do the best for your for yourself. But also for your country. Ilana had waited years for this moment at twenty five. She felt at the peak of her career. Yes, had never had the opportunity to test herself on the world stage. She wasn't even born when South Africa was banned from the Olympics as young white girl. Alana mayor has self only realize the impact of apartheid when she joined a racially mixed athletics team as a teenager when we went into a restaurant, you know, the whole team could not go in because they was athlete of Kelly in the team can also infect was really the first time that I was alerted to the political situation. But one South African Alana's closest rivals Zola Budd managed to get round the rules by running for her grandfather's country, Great Britain at the nineteen Eighty-four Olympics Alana realized that she wanted the same opportunity watching, you know, Zola competing in Los Angeles. Certainly, I think opened my eyes for opportunities. You know, what I did realize east? Are they easy international athletics? World are the which I would really like to be fought off. I'm so so that also made me change my focus a little bit to try and compete against my international competitors. Even though I couldn't physically run rises against international athletes, you know, I- benchmark myself against the international times. So I knew my competitors. I knew Ingrid Kristiansen, Greta Vides, Liz McColgan, I knew all of them, and she continued to watch them from the sidelines as they raced in the next Olympics, but the nine hundred ninety s brought new hope Nelson Mandela was released from prison and before long a decision was made to readmit South Africa to the Olympics in one thousand nine hundred ninety there's already intense discussion here about what kind of team of Africa might send to the Olympics named to watch out for our Alana mayor. Recently round the world's fastest ever half marathon. And as he can here in this clip Alana was overjoyed and a little overwhelmed at the news, the Olympic crispy, even every spokesman scheme, and I think it's going to be unreal to go and take broadband. I can't really imagine taking part in the South African team was really prepaid in in many many ways because we only got accepted literally months before the Olympics. You know where you need to prepare. We didn't even have our own Dr medicals on the team we had to share with you. Despite these obstacles Ilana van sale may knew that has South Africa's only truly world class athletes. Millions back home would be watching the ten thousand meter final and expecting including those at the very top. You know, I had calls from politicians the night before to ask me if I win in which flag will Iran. And at that stage. We didn't even have a flag. It was prior to having a democratic election. Now, we had a white these flag with Olympic rings on wall, prepaid my coach, you know, we had a plan. I in a plan b in a plan was ready. Ready to rice with my heart. Wow. But with a massive weight on your shoulders. Yeah. I think you know. Luckily, as soon as the gun goes a lot of that stress release immediately. With your mind. Good body jihad."