World champion Mulaudzi starting to make his mark in the 800-metre event

2010-06-15 00:00

WHILE the country is engulfed in World Cup fever, South Africa’s athletes continue to compete on the track and field circuit with Mbulaeni Mulaudzi starting to make his mark in the 800 metres.

The world champion was a relatively clear-cut winner in New York on Saturday where he recorded a useful one minute, 44,38 seconds ahead of American Nick Symmonds who was 0,67 seconds adrift at the line.

Mulaudzi can be happy to have taken the scalp of third-placed Kenyan Alfred Yego who finished in 1:45,46.

Peter van Der Westhuizen was not as dominant in the metric mile where he finished a disappointing ninth in 3:37,34 behind Nicholas Kemboi.

Kemboi took honours ahead of Ethiopian Deresse Mekonnen in 3:33,29 with American Leonel Manzano­ third in 3:33,92.

Perhaps the biggest upset in the South African camp came from 400 m hurdler L. J. van Zyl. Van Zyl has been South Africa’s top hurdler for the past six years, but he has struggled around the one-lapper to finish a distant seventh place in 49,79 seconds. American Kerron Clement added another victory to his collection, edging out compatriot­ Bershawn Jackson by 0,08 seconds. Javier Culson did well to outsprint Felix­ Sanchez for third place

On Friday, Sunette Viljoen continued her form in the javelin in Rome where her 63,04-metre throw was good enough to secure second place behind the Czech Republic’s Barbora Spotakova who launched the spear to 68,66 metres. Ukraines Vira Rebryk was third with 62,44 metres.

South Africa’s world 800 m champion, Caster Semenya, has been frustrated by the tardiness of the International Association of Athletics Federations in announcing the outcome of the gender tests that she underwent in the world championships in Berlin in August.

Despite announcements that she had been cleared to run, the relevant media releases were withdrawn and her planned press conference with South Africa’s minister of sport was postponed after the IAAF once again said that the announcement was premature. The only good news for the 20-year-old, who has not competed since winning the title, is that the governing body have stated that an announcement will be made by the end of the month. This does not leave Semenya much time to run a qualifying time for Commonwealth Games selection, but given her domination of the double-lap event last year, any semblance of that fitness should make qualification a formality.

RESULTS: IAAF meeting New York June 12

800 metres — men: 1 Mulaudzi , Mbulaeni SA 1:44;38, 2 Symmonds, Nick U.S. 1:45;05, 3 Yego, Alfred Kirwa KEN 1:45;46

1 500 metres — men: 1 Kemboi, Nicholas Kiptanui KEN 3:33;29, 2 Mekonnen , Deresse ETH 3:33;85, 3 Manzano, Leonel U.S. 3:33;92: 9 van der Westhuizen, Peter SA 3:37.34

400-metres hurdles – men: 1 Clement , Kerron U.S. 47.86, 2 Jackson, Bershawn U.S. 47.94, 3 Culson, Javier PUR 48.47, 7 van Zyl, L. J. SA 49.79

IAAF Rome JUNE 11

Javelin throw — women: 1 Špotáková , Barbora CZE 68.66, 2 Viljoen, Sunette SA 63.04, 3 Rebryk, Vira UKR 62.44

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