African championships set to take place end of August

2013-06-19 00:00

THE good news for South Africa’s Junior athletes is that the African championships, originally set to take place in South Africa at the end of this month, are now scheduled for August 29 to September 1 in Mauritius.

The championships were taken away as a result of the current administration situation in Athletics South Africa that has resulted in a major debate between the elected board and Sascoc and the IAAF.

This means that the Juniors will only compete after the World Senior Championships in Moscow in mid-August.

South Africa’s best track and field athletes are competing on the European circuit and still have a month to qualify for the senior championships, while a team of 33 athletes was announced by ASA for the World Youth Championships in July.

Thobani Chagwe won Saturday’s Impendle 10 km, pocketing an impressive R1 200 first prize for the tough 10 km route, which was covered in 32 minutes 19 seconds. The boxer-athlete left Zimbabwean Elmo Sibanda in second by over 100 metres. Siyabonga Nkonde completed the podium in 32:54.

Chesterville’s Slindile Chili was the best of the women in 43 minutes 38 seconds and almost three minutes free of her nearest challenger, Nonsikelo Mbambo, who crossed the line in 46:31.

League five of the Cross-country saw a good post-Comrades field in most age groups although there is still a dearth of competitors for the senior men and women distances. Saturday afternoon’s field saw runners making their way around the Yellowwood Park Stainbank nature reserve under the watchful eye of the local zebra and buck, with Thubalethu Phaku continuing to be the person to beat in the men’s race. Phaku took 41 minutes 36 seconds for the six laps, with Savages Monwabisis Cele exactly one minute off the pace. Janene Carey was equally dominant in the senior women where she covered the eight kilometres in 33:46 compared with Lenor Steffens from Queensburgh, who recorded 36:13 for second spot.

With the SA XC championships scheduled for September, the competition for places is heating up in the league events with the next KZN league scheduled for Pinetown on Saturday, July 6.

The feature event this weekend will be the Spar Ladies’ race in Durban (8 am) over a new beachfront course and returning to the Kingsmead stadium as a finish venue. The event attracts over 16 000 runners in both a 5 km and 10 km distance and is the third of the five-event Grand Prix, which has a car for the series winner.

Although the likes of Rene Kalmer, Nolene Conrade and Irvette van Zyl are the lead contenders in the open section, Jenna Challenor, Janene Carey, Grace de Oliveira and Tanith Maxwell are local runners who make their marks in the age groups.

The other race scheduled for this weekend is the Sardine half-marathon, covering an undulating course on the old South Coast road to the Douglas Mitchell Sports Club in Uvongo. The race commences at 6.30 am and Debbie Ridley has more details on 082 441 5370.

RESULTS

Impendle 10 km Road Race

Men:

1. Thobani Chagwe 32:19

2. Elmo Sibanda 32:40

3. Siyabonga Nkonde 32:54

Women:

1. Slindlile Chili 43:38

2. Nonsikelo Mbambo 46:31

3. Xoli Madida 47:14

KZNA CROSS-COUNTRY League 5

Men Senior 12 km:

1. Thubalethu Phaku 41:36

2. Monwabisis Cele 42:36

3. Mlungeni Maphumalo 44:31

Senior Women 8 km:

1. Janene Carey 33:46

2. Lenor Steffens 36:13

3. Nokuthula Ntshangase 38:47

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