Mulaudzi tops SA showingin Madrid meet

2010-07-06 00:00

WORLD 800 metres champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi provided the best performance among the 11 South Africans competing in the 28th Madrid track and field meeting on Friday.

Mulaudzi won the two-lapper by a shoulder ahead of Spain’s Manuel Olmedo in one minute 45,1 seconds. Both Olmedo and Kenyan Jackson Kivuva were given times of 1:45,4 and the top six finished within 0,7 seconds of each other.

It was almost as close in the metric mile where Johan Cronje had to settle for third behind Remmy Ndiwa from Kenya, who crossed the line in 3:36,2. Although tying on time, Cronje lost the photo finish to Britain’s Thomas Lancashire for third place in 3:37,3. Molefe Molefe was ninth overall in 3:41,9, while Isaac Mboyaza secured second spot in the B race in 3:51,4 in which Spaniard Alvaro Lozano took the honours in 3:50,7.

American Joel Brown and Jamaican Dwight Thomas diced over the 110 m hurdles, which saw Brown come out on top in 13,1 seconds and South African Lehann Fourie bring up the rear in 13,4 seconds.

With the unexpected withdrawal of Khotso Mokoena in the long jump, France’s Salim Sdiri had the best leap of the night, reaching out to 7,74 metres. South Africa’s Luvo Manyonya was third with 7,70 metres.

Rene Kalmer continues to produce some useful perfor­mances on the track, this time covering the 1 500 in 4 minutes 11,1 seconds for sixth place in the race that was won by Spain’s Natalia Rodriguez (4:06,7).

Lebogang Phalula pulled out of the race along the way, while her sister Dino Lebo will be as disappointed with her nine minute 40,9 12th and last place. The race was won in a final straight sprint by Kenyan Iness Chenonge, who broke the beam in 8 minutes 51,3 seconds.

Elizna Naude was well off her personal best in the discus where she could only spin the disk to a disappointing 57,08 metres for sixth place. The event was won by Yarelis Barrios of Cuba with 64,72 metres. Nicoleta Grasu earned second with 60,68 metres to Serbian Dragana Tomasevic’s 59,51 metres all of which are within Naude’s range.

With the world’s best sprinters in action in the Diamond League in Eugene, U.S., Marlon Devonish (GBR) won the 200 m sprint in Madrid in 20,4 seconds tying time with Ryan Shields and leaving Frenchman David Alerte third. Simon Magakwe took fifth in 20,8 seconds, despite a 2,1 m/s wind.

The Mile A race was one of the feature events of the annual Prefontaine Classic and saw Kenyan Asbel Kiprop outrun Moroccan Amine Laalou and Ethiopia’s Mekonnen Gebremedhin to take victory in three minutes 49,75 seconds. Laalou was 0,47 seconds adrift with Gebremedhin taking 3:50,68 for the four laps, and six athletes dropping under 3:53.

Both Juan van Deventer and Pieter van der Westhuizen were in Eugene, but for the B race of the mile, where Van Deventer placed third in 3 minutes 54,12 seconds behind Australian Ryan Gregson (3:53,19) and American Andrew Acosta (3:53,76).

While the seniors are still building to their peak for the African Championships at the end of the month, South Africa’s junior team was announced at the end of the week among controversy that has a number of athletes and parents up in arms and athletics administrators in direct confrontation.

Sprinter Justine Palframan is the only KZN athlete to make the final selection for the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada. The team will leave Johannesburg on July 15 so as to have some acclimatisation before the championships which run from July 20 to 25.

Pole vault sensation Cheyne Rahme and long jump talent Luvo Manyionga are among a 23-strong national junior team that will be in the hunt for medals at the 13th IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Moncton.

Palframan, who beat many of the seniors during the Yellow Pages season, not only qualified during the South African summer season but also met the additional performance requirements during the so-called “window-period” created by Atheltics South Africa (ASA) in June.

Of the athletes announced, Rahme, Manyionga and Tazmin Britz (javelin) occupy top spot on the world junior rankings, while Waide Jooste (100 metres), Gideon Trotter (100 metres), Shaun de Jager (400 metres), Ratlale Mokone (800 metres), Rocco van Rooyen (javelin), Dan Goosen (javelin) and Gert Swanepoel (decathlon), rank among the top 10 in their respective disciplines.

World 800 metres senior champion Caster Semenya, who is waiting for the outcome of the much publicised gender medical process conducted under the auspices of the IAAF, could not be considered for selection.

In recognising the founding role juniors play in the future of the sport, ASA Administrator Ray Mali said, “This campaign is the first step towards preparing athletes to keep our country’s flag flying high at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.”

Only 20 of the initial 29 athletes named in the national squad in April made the final cut, which has resulted in substantial consternation from the Athlete’s Commission and other sports members.

Since the announcement, complaints have poured in to the ASA’s interim administration.

James Evans, president of Western Province, who resigned from the interim board earlier in the year, and Arnaud Malherbe, acting head of the ASA athletes’ commission, have been among the most vociferous in their scorn of the federation for changing selection criteria midway through the preparation period and apparent inconsistency in the final team selection.

Evans and Malherbe said their phones have been “ringing non-stop” since the junior team was named, while some athletes who achieved the stringent qualifying standard, yet were not included in the team, are said to be considering quitting the sport.

The window period to prove performance one month before the championships was introduced after assis­tant administrator Richard Stander was seconded from Boland Athletics to the ASA office as Ray Mali’s assistant.

Evans said in an e-mail to Mali that the team selection “beggars belief” and agreed with Malherbe that the initial criteria should stand, and that athletes who qualified before the window period should be included.

“At no time was any correspondence received by the pro­vinces overruling or withdrawing those criteria,” Evans wrote. “Athletes who were selected for the ASA provisional squad [in April] were not notified of any change.”

Stander said the athletes who had not made the final team “did not meet the requirements during the window period in June as requested”.

FULL TEAM

Men: Waide Jooste (CGA) 100m, Gideon Trotter (AFS) 100m, Wade van Niekerk (AFS) 200m, Sean de Klerk (AFS) 200m, Shaun de Jager (Bol) 400m, Jacques de Swardt (AGN) 400m, Ratlale Mokone (AFS) 1500m, Kobus Moolman (AGN) 110mh, Werner Pretorius (AGN) 110m hurdles, Le Roux Hamman (ANWN) 400mh, Pieter Marx (AFS) 400mh, Cheyne Rahme (CGA) pole vault, Luvo Manyionga (Bol) long jump, Stefan Brits (Bol) long jump, Dewald van Heerden (CGA) discus, Rocco van Rooyen (WP)javelin, Dean Goosen (VT) javelin, Gert Swanepoel (CNW) decathlon

4 x 100 metres relay: Gideon Trotter, Waide Jooste, Wade van Niekerk, Sean de Klerk, Kobus Moolman, Werner Pretorius.

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