SA takes shot put goldin Nairobi

2010-07-31 00:00

SOUTH African attention is currently on Nairobi where the 17th African Championships are under way.

South Africa were off to a good start through Burger Lambrechts, who won the first gold medal of the championships with an effort of 18,63 metres in the shot put, with compatriots Roelof Potgieter and Orazio Cremona clinching silver and bronze.

South Africa’s Olympic silver medallist, Khotso Mokoena, was one of only two long jumpers to make the final by exceeding the 7,85 m qualification mark.

The story was not so good in the 800 m where Mbulaeni Mulaudzi struggled into the semi-final with a third place in a slow one minute 51 seconds. The Championships continue through to tomorrow.

Provincially Pietermaritzburg will be the focus of attention for athletics this weekend, with a combination of some of the shortest and longest events on the calendar.

This morning, Collegians Harriers host their 15th annual Braai Ketts Longest Day race, which is run around a track of three laps to a kilometre on the club grounds. Starting at 7am, the runners attempt to notch up as many kilometres as they can in the 12-hour period, with a minimum of 80 km constituting an official finish.

This is strictly a pre-entry event with even record-holder Obert Ngcobo’s entry being rejected by the race organiser for missing the deadline. Ncgobo ran a total of 143,99 km in 2003 and has won on a number of occasions, which will certainly take the shine off the award for this year’s victor.

The women’s record of 118,64 km is held by Veronica Mahlali, also in 2003. Last year’s rain saw the organisers amend the cut-off distance to 70 km, as many runners battled to meet the normal standard. Brian Swart has more details at 079 913 3305.

The KZNA Cross-country Championships start just two hours later at Laddsworth School in Hilton. This event runs right through the day, catering for all runners from the first race for age group men, through to the boys and girls 14 and 15 age categories at 4.30 pm.

Runners should take note that participation in the championships and two league races is a prerequisite for selection to the KZNA team to the SA Championships in Pretoria in September. Jeff Speed has more details at 082 892 4215.

A last-minute notification by the KZNA office confirms that the Spar Ladies’ race will no longer be organised by KZNA, but will now be hosted by the Chesterville club on Sunday, August 29.

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