Sunette Viljoen hits form with new African record for javelin throw and lifetime best tripple jump for Potgieter and Prinsloo

2012-06-13 00:00

SUNETTE Viljoen hit form in the New York Samsung Diamond league event, throwing her javelin to a new African record distance of 69,35 metres and beating Olympic and World Championship silver medallist Barbara Spotkova.

Viljoen also hit form last year around the same time and this augurs well for next month’s Olympics where she is one of South Africa’s premium medal contenders.

“It is still early in the season, so I will work harder. Lot still needs to happen. I will focus on my training and ensure my heart and head remain positive,” said Viljoen, who will now be part of the team to the African Championships in Benin from June 27 to July 1.

Oscar Pistorius and around 10 other athletes have only three more weeks to qualify for the Olympics, but the African Championships may well present their best opportunity as the weather and the level of competition will be conducive to personal bests.

This past weekend Pistorius finished last in the 400 metres in 46,16 seconds — well off the required mark and his best — while Peter van der Westhuizen was ninth in the 1 500 metre in 3:37,47, two seconds slower than the qualification time.

Andre Olivier was only 0,15 seconds outside the required 1:45,60 required for the 800 metres when he raced against a quality field in Lille on Saturday.

Many other South Africans improved personal bests, or placed well, in the various track meetings around the world at the weekend.

Jacques de Swardt shaved 0,02 seconds from his 400 metre time, running 46,06 seconds in Rhede, Germany, while Ofentse Mogawane finished third. In a second 400 metre race, Shaun de Jager and Willem de Beer finished first and second in 46,01 and 46,08 seconds respectively.

Zarck Visser won the men’s long jump with a best attempt of 8,12 metres. “I am a bit sad because I missed the 8,20 metres qualifying mark again, but I am happy with my performance because I know that I gave it everything I had,” said Visser.

Estie Wittstock clocked 52,71 seconds to finish second behind Germany’s Esther Cremer (52,13) in another 400 metre run.

Charlene Potgieter finished third in the women’s triple jump after her best effort was measured at 13,62 metres.

There was a surprise in the women’s long jump with Lynique Prinsloo the best amongst the South African women, finishing third with a jump of 6,33 metres.

Monja Goosen jumped a personal best of 6,22 metres to finish sixth, while the SA Champion Janice Josephs finished in seventh (6,19 metres) ahead of Carla Marais (6,23 metres).

Lehann Fourie won the 110 metre hurdles national event at the Samsung Diamond League Bislett Games in 13,69 seconds ahead of Adrien Deghelt from Belgium and Norwegian Vladimir Vukicevic.

“I hit just about every single hurdle, so my time was very slow,” said an unhappy Fourie who was originally aiming for the 13,52 seconds Olympic qualifying mark.

Simon Magakwe finished fifth in 10,30 seconds in the men’s 100 metres with Jamaican Usain Bolt winning the race in a new meeting record time of 9,79 seconds.

In the men’s 400 metre hurdles, Cornel Fredericks was timed at 49,16 seconds, finishing fifth, behind David Greene (48,98 seconds).

The World Championships silver medallist, Javier Culson, won the race in a world-leading time of 47,92 seconds.

Charlene Potgieter leapt to a lifetime best performance of 13,80 metres in the women’s triple jump in Tampere, Finland, on Sunday.

“I am over the moon with my performance. I was a bit tired after the long flight, but the conditions were perfect. It is not always easy to compete in Europe, so it is great to be able to get a personal best,” said Potgieter.

Khotso Mokoena won the men’s long jump ahead of Sweden’s Michel Tornéus. Both athletes jumped 8,07 metres with Roni Ollikained third in 7,84 metres.

In the women’s long jump, Lynique Prinsloo again achieved a lifetime best jump with her 6,38 metres, while Carla Marais came second with 6,16 metres.

James Evans was elected president of Athletics South Africa for the next four years at the weekend. Hendrick Ramaala was elected the vice-president.

James Moloi will head the road running, while Pieter Lourens and Andre Gobey are heads of track and cross-country commissions.

Shireen Noble, Ester Malema, Blanche Moila and Marvin Draai complete the board as additional members.

There are three events this Youth Day weekend, commencing with the Impendle 16 km run and walk from the New Form Centre at 8 am. Mthembeni Ndlela has more information at 072 9566 838.

There is also a five kilometre fun run on offer.

The venue changes to Umlazi in the south of Durban on Sunday where both 10 km and five kilometre distances are on offer. The main event commences from the sports centre at 7 am and more information on this event will be provided at 072 211 4556.

For those looking for some off road running the first event in the Talbot Trail Series will be held through Cumberland Nature Reserve on Saturday beginning at 7.30 am. Only 200 runners will be accepted for each of the 14 km and seven kilometre distances. Andrew Booth has more details at 082 603 4098.

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