SA athletes hoping to beat 2009 medals haul at Daegu

2011-08-24 00:00

THE South African student athletics team finished ninth on the medal table following the World Student Games, which ran from August 12 to 23 in Shenzen, China.

The team brought back two gold, two silver and two bronze medals, with Sunette Viljoen’s SA record in the javelin being one of the features of the championships and a welcome boost before she and six others athletes fly to Korea for the senior championships.

Russia headed the medal table with 31 gongs followed by China on 12. Five countries — Turkey, Jamaica, Ukraine, Japan and the U.S. — were tied with nine medals, and Poland secured eighth place with three gold, three silver and a bronze.

Athletes gather in Daegu, South Korea, this week. The South African team head into competition in the hopes of matching or exceeding their medal haul of two gold and one silver from Berlin in 2009.

While Mbulaeni Mulaudzi has already withdrawn from the team, citing a back injury, there are still conflicting reports over Caster Semenya, the women’s defending world 800 metre champion, who is also trying to shake off a back injury.

One of the first events for SA will be the woman’s marathon where the withdrawal of Tanith Maxwell has removed the opportunity for any competitive practice or learning of team strategy by the South Africans.

The Boxer Superstores athlete has complained of a toe irritation.

Back in South Africa it was a clean sweep for the Bluff Meats Formula One club at the Merewent 10 km race on Sunday with Robson Chigara leading the charge for the line.

The trio were in close formation as the speed around the figure of eight route just failing to break 31 minutes.

Chigara was four seconds over the mark when he crossed the line just 20 metres clear of Samson Kiplatgat, with Munya Jari, who had already run the tough Witness Capital Climb the previous day, in third.

The Boxer Superstores club dominated proceedings in the women’s race.

Jenna Challenor was almost two minutes clear of Maya Lawries, the prolific age group runner who secured the 40-49 age category and was runner-up in 38 minutes 29 seconds.

Thubalethu Phaku was the clear winner in the annual Isikulu Half-marathon from Kwagqikasi main gate in a useful one hour and eight minutes.

Looking forward, Bluff Meats Formula One are the hosts of the 20 km and 10 km races around a circuit from the North Coast road shopping centre on Sunday.

Cliff Chinnasamay has more details at 083 714 3468.

On Saturday the second sub-youth and primary schools league starts from 7.30 am at the King’s Park athletics stadium in durban. Schools are encouraged to participate in these leagues and pre-enter their athletes via the KZN Athletics offices.

For more information call KZNA offices at 031 312 9374.

The Sandy, which is a new 14 km beach run between Umhlanga and Durban, is expected to prove to be a popular drawcard on Sunday morning.

The direction of the run will be determined by the prevailing wind in order that the race has a tail wind. For more information call 082 654 6542.

The Howick Highlander Run from the Howick Farmers’ Market offers 20 km, 10 km and five kilometre trail run distances starting at 7 am on Saturday.

Clayton Bekker has more details at 082 332 5032.

Runners need to be aware that the annual Spar Witness ladies’ race and Collegians Harriers’ Duke of York race have swapped dates, which means that the women will line up in Alexandra Park on September 4 for their 10 km and five kilometre challenges.

John Hall has more details about the race and entries at 082 4917 679.

The Duke of York will be held on September 18. Andre Booysen has more details at 082 318 5137.

MEREWENT 10 KM:

Men: 1. Robson Chigara Form One A C31:04, 2. Samson Kiplagat Form One A C31:08, 3. Munya Jari Form One A C31:18

35 to 39: Bernard Phlatsane Nedbank A C33:52

MENS TEAM: Toti A C

Ladies: 1. Jenna Challenor Boxer A C36:35, 2. Maya Laurie Boxer A C38:29, 3.Janine Carey Boxer A C39:04

35 to 39: Janine Carey Boxer A C39:04

LADIES TEAM: Boxer A C

Isikulu Half-marathon:

Men: 1. Thubalethu Phaku DUT 1:08, 2 Professor Mollen Mr Price 1:11, 3. Lyno Mnchema Mr Price 1:12.

Ladies: 1. Makhosi Mhlongo Savages 1:28, 2. Xoli Madida IND 1:33, 3. Slindile Chili Chesterville 1:36.

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