As world championships in South Korea reaches halfway mark, how have our athletes done so far?

2011-09-01 00:00

REACHING the halfway point in the championships is a good time to assess the progress in Daegu against the performance level on which each athlete was selected.

Rene Kalmer and Annerien van Schalkwyk kicked off proceedings in a hot and humid 10 km marathon where their times of 2:38 and 2:43 were inside reasonable expectations given the 30°C temperature at the finish.

In my book both score nine out of 10 for performance, despite a lack of logical race strategy and logistic preparation.

Simone du Toit in the shot putt scores a lowly three out of 10. From throwing around 17 metres, the Tukkies athlete scrambles to get over 16 metres with her new lightweight looks.

Sprint hurdler Lehann Fourie has the experience of Berlin and really should have progressed to the semi-finals. A 13.86 from a season’s best of 13.56 and a personal best 13.44 does not indicate timely peaking for the championships. He scores five out of 10.

It was Simon Mogakwe’s second world championships and he ran in the heat with the least wind, so a 10.53 time is a poor showing from the sprinter who has a season and personal best of 10.18 and 10.14 respectively.

Magakwe scores four or five at best from 10.

By his own admission Willem Coertzen was not happy with his first day of the decathlon, and linked his lethargy to the long travel from South Africa exacerbated by an additional flight two days before from his London base to South Africa.

This aside Coertzen had a reasonable first day and looked to be in line to set a national record, but made the basic mistake of entering the pole vault at 5,10 metres.

Having only cleared 4,60 metres when he set his record it makes sense to clear the lowest possible height to get on the scoreboard then progress from there. Coertzen then withdrew from the competition, but gets only four out of 10.

A new national record in the 3 000 m steeplechase for Ruben Ramolefi puts him on 10 out of 10, while a place in the final and similarly his second fastest time ever certainly puts 21-year-old Cornel Fredericks on full marks going into tonight’s 400 m hurdles.

World number one this year L.J. van Zyl was always expected to make the 400 m hurdle final, so an eight out of ten is well deserved.

That leaves Oscar Pistorius, who has single-handedly brought respect back to South African athletics at the World Championships. To make it to the 400 m semi-finals was beyond expectations and his performance off the field worth extra points — 10 from 10 for Blade Runner.

Now for an uncomplicated ride for Caster Semenya to the 800 m semi-final and a smooth transition through the media entourage after the race.

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