KwaZulu-Natal track and field championship teams announced

2010-03-19 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL has announced its team to compete in the Yellow Pages South African track and field championship at Kings Park Stadium on Friday­ and Saturday.

The 25 men and 13 women provide a mix of experience and new blood with athletes such as Thubalethu Phaku, Siyabonga Nkonde, Simone Meyer, Justine Palframan and Shane Victor who are capable of bringing back medals.

Locals will be hoping that schoolgirl Palframan repeats her performance in last month’s Durban Yellow Pages Series where she took line honours in the 400 m.

The teams are:

MEN

Professor Cele 20 km (walk), Wade Fraser 20 km (walk), Thubalethu Phaku 10 000 m, Siyabonga Nkonde 10 000 m, Mduduzi Mahlaba 5 000 m, Monwabisi Cele 1 500 m, Tebogo Khanye 800 m, Sibusiso Madikizela 3 000 m, Shane Victor 400 m, Junaid Smerdon 200 m and 400 m, Sbusiso Madlala 400 m, Braam van Tubbergh 100 m and 200 m, Quintin Higte100 m, Tezrin Pandither 100 m, Sabelo Bhodoza 100 m, Adewale Adejumo 100 m long jump and 100 m, Siyethemba Dludla 100 m, Sphamandla Ngwenya 100 m, Gareth Brown shotput, Roodt Rudolf hammer throw, Righardt Koetzee discus, Johan Labuschagne shotput, Sbusiso Mkhize 200 m, Vusi Mthembu 800 m, René Koen 100 m.

WOMEN

Khethiwe Memela 20 km (walk), Anne McKenzie 20 km (walk), Yvonne Irmscher 20 km (walk), Puselesto Dladla 5 000 m, Sbongile Shezi 5 000 m, Daniela Adlam 1 500 m, Justine Palframan 200 m, Katelyn Palframan 200 m, Nontobeko Gumede 100 m and 200 m, Zoe Engler 100 m and 200 m, Sbusisiwe Gavu 100 m, Brittan Smith long jump, Simone Meyer discus and shotput,

The championships also provide an opportunity for the country’s leading athletes to qualify for selection to the Commonwealth Games in New Dehli in October.

World Indoor and Olympic silver medalist Khotso Mokoena and World 800 m champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi will be two of the major crowd pullers for the weekend of top-class athletics.

Last Month Elizna Naudé made the qualifying standards and looked capable­ of getting closer to the 66-metre mark that she wants to take into the commonwealth games. Another one who is hoping to hit a sweet spot is Ruben Ramolefi who was battered­ in the wind last month and feels that good weather conditions could take him to a new SA record time. This championships will be broadcasted on SABC Sport. Tickets (at R20) will be available at the gate.

Stellenbosch-based javelin thrower Robert Oosthuizen will be looking for another consistent showing when he pulls on the Boland provincial colours­. Oosthuizen has already posted two Commonwealth qualifying performances during Yellow Pages Series action this season and will go into the championships with a season best of 82,96 metres.

Central Gauteng Athletics will field a strong team, but will bank on Olympic finalist Ruben Ramolefi to deliver another quality performance in the 3 000-metre steeplechase. Ramolefi has made no secret of the fact that he would like to better his national record (eight minutes, 11,63 seconds) at the coast at either the national championships or at the fifth leg of the Yellow Pages Series in Stellenbosch on March 30. The KwaZulu-Natal Athletics office has more details and the full programme at 031 312 9374.

On Sunday the road running fraternity continues their build-up events towards the 85th Comrades Marathon on 30 May.

This week the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) announced a change to the route that will take athletes up Alexander Road and through the big dipper on Ritchie Road prior to the traditional exit from Pietermaritzburg via Polly Shortts. There will be minimal change on the distance, but without question it is a tougher exit from the City of Choice.

The Boxer Superstore Stella Royal 25 km and 10 km run and walk is expected to be the feature road event this weekend. The 25km race commences from outside the clubhouse in Helen Joseph Road at 5 am for a two-lap tour of Glenwood and Umbilo, whereas the single-lap 10 km goes under the starters gun 30 minutes later.

The 25 km is a tough course, particularly second time round, but provides a good Comrades and Two Oceans tester if taken at the correct pace.

There are T-shirts to all 25 km finishers and medals for the 10 km runners. R5 of every race fee goes to the Reach for a Dream charity. Cecil Sher has the lowdown on the race at 083 566 3333.

Up the north coast Nongoma Athletics Club host the annual Zululand Ultra­ Marathon over 56 km on Human­ Rights Day. The race commences at Ulundi Regional Stadium and has the support of the local municipality. The race offers significant prize money to the leading athletes.

In addition to the ultra event there are both 10 km and five-kilometre fun runs. Manqele Mphathiseni has more details at 083 432 9566.

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