KZN’s hopes at Moscow champs rest on the shoulders of two women

2013-07-24 00:00

AN initial squad of 30 athletes has been named for next month’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

With 22 track and field athletes, six marathoners and two race walkers, it could be one of the largest teams to the championships in recent years. It includes seven athletes who have only met the IAAF B Standard at present. These athletes will be replaced should any others meet the IAAF A standard before the July 29 selection cut-off date.

Tanith Maxwell and Justine Palframan are the only two KZN representatives in the team, but will compete at extreme distances. Palframan gained her place with a 23,28 second 200 m sprint for the SA championship title in April, while Maxwell will be hoping to break 2:30 in the marathon, which will be held on the first weekend over a four-lap course in the Russian capital.

Caster Semenya is making a last-minute bid to reach form in the 800 m, but her two recent outings in Finland only delivered a season best of 2:04, leaving a massive four-second gap to be crossed for a qualifier if she is to try to match the Olympic silver she won in London last year.

Long jumper Khotso Mokoena, who is currently sixth in the world, is battling to reach medal form, but is supported by Zark Visser, who is seventh in the world. Lynique Prinsloo, currently ranked 10th, will be looking to make the final of the women’s long jump, while SA’s hurdling pedigree will be continued with 2011 finalists LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks, who have PC Beneke in support.

Although there are currently few clear medallists, Sunette Viljoen and double sprint sensation of the world student games Anaso Jobodwana, could pull something special out of the bag.

Jobodwana made the Olympic final in the 200 m and the recent positive doping tests in world sprinting have not done his hopes any harm.

Stephen Mokoka, who won gold in the student 10 000 m and silver in the 21 km, is listed in the 10 000 m, but will face the usual cavalcade of Ethiopian and Kenyan thoroughbreds in Moscow.

The championships commence on August 10.

n Locally, Jenna Challenor was outright winner of the 10 km Totalsports Ladies race in Durban on Sunday, finishing in 36:59. Challenor, who has been injured for the last month, led the field of over 6 000 through the first kilometre in 03:15.

As they turned onto the new promenade at Blue Lagoon, Kenyan Peres Jepschirchir eased past the Boxer athlete and opened a telling lead that saw her crossing the line in 34:04. Unfortunately, the athlete was unable to present her international permit to race in South Africa and was disqualified, giving Challenor victory in her best time for the past three years.

The diminutive Poppy Mlambo, a multiple winner of previous Spar Ladies events, was second in 36:11, ahead of Thabisa Sirayi, who finished in 37:04. Previous Comrades gold medallist Grace de Oliveira won the 50-59 age group in 42:32.

Second-placed junior Caylee Ellero was ninth overall and the last runner to break the 40-minute barrier.

n Saturday sees the 18th annual Braai Ketts Longest Day 12-hour track race, which this year will be on a larger 400 m track around the Collegians Harriers fields at the club grounds.

With almost a full house of entries it is expected there will be good distances posted in the event, which commences at 7 am. This is the second leg of the Triple Challenge, which includes the Comrades Marathon and the Capital 100 Miler on September 20 and 21. Entries closed this week and no substitutions are allowed.

n Saturday is the next leg of the KZN Cross Country League, which is in Utrecht starting at noon. More than 800 runners have already committed to the full range of age-group races, the last of which commences at 3.40 pm. More information from the KZN office at 031 312 9374

n Also on Saturday, dietician Julie Thomas holds a follow-up seminar on the practical application of the low-carb high-fat diet proposed by Professor Tim Noakes.

The presentation begins at 8 am at Lebella, on the corner of St Thomas and Essenwood roads. Cost is R230 and includes a special health book and light breakfast. There are limited seats and booking can be made through physicaliqtalks@gmail.com or phone Brendan at 074 256 6113.

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