Thipe makes great comeback

2012-03-24 16:39

Former South African women’s sprint champion Tsholofelo Thipe ended a three-year hiatus from the track to steal the thunder from a host of top athletes yesterday.

Lining up in the second leg of the Yellow Pages Series here, Thipe, the two-time SA champ, not only attained the Olympic Games’s A-standard time entry in the 200m but capped a brilliant day overall for the Athletics Royal Bafokeng Club, who had four of their athletes running the qualifying marks.

Other members of the Phokeng-based club who qualified were Simon Magakwe, Lebogang Moeng and Rorisang Ramonnye.


She won the 200m sprint in a breathtaking 22.89, which beat the 23.10 Olympic A standard qualifier, and helped the Bafokeng 4x100m to a second spot, much to the delight of Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, one of the keen spectators.

Magakwe twice ran under the required 20.55 A-standard mark in the 200m, clocking 20.43 during the heats and a faster 20.38 in the final. He won both races.

Moeng came third in 20.51 behind Thuso Mpuang (20.50) in the same race while Ramonnye won the women’s 400m final in a B-standard time of 51.61, which was agonisingly off the mandatory 51.55.

However, Thipe was the one who won the hearts of the sizeable crowd which included her one-year-old kid.

“After I gave birth to my first child, I still believed I had gas left in my tank to continue where I left off last time,” said Thipe, who is married to her coach, Eugene Thipe.

Meanwhile, former 800m world champions Caster Semenya and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi said their plan was to net their respective qualifying times at home before they ventured onto the European circuit.

Although they dipped under the A-standard times, the two comfortably won their respective races in their first appearance in their specialist two-lap event.

In the other track events, Number 1 ranked hurdler LJ van Zyl finished a disappointing fourth in the 400m flat.

The race was won by his 4x400m national teammates Willie de Beer and Shane Victor, who took the one and two spots respectively.

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