African championships last chance for SA Olympic hopefuls

2012-06-27 10:45

One last chance.

This is what the CAA African Athletics Senior Championships, which start in Benin today, mean to the South African track and field athletes who are stuck on single Olympic A-standard marks.

A total of eight athletes in Team SA’s huge contingent doing duty in Porto Novo have fulfilled the Athletics SA and Sascoc Olympic qualifying criteria.

Leading the group is Mzansi’s fastest man over 100m this year, Simon Magakwe, who has a chance of qualifying in the 100m and 200m events.

Magakwe, a double bronze winner at the continental championships in Kenya in 2010, must run the 100m in 10.18 and 20.55 in the 200m dash to confirm his place in the athletics team that is heading to the London Games next month.

He clocked an SA record equalling time of 10.06 two months ago.

Also chasing the elusive second A-qualifying marks are Magakwe’s Athletics Royal Bafokeng club mates Lebogang Moeng and Tsholofelo Thipe.

A total of 50 countries will compete at the Benin championships which have attracted reigning world champions David Rudisha (800m) and Amantle Montsho (400m) of Botswana.

This is what the hopefuls need to do to book their tickets to the quadrennial Games:

Oscar Pistorius (400m)
The “Blade Runner” chalked up his first qualifier with a 45.20 during the Gauteng North Provincial Championships in March. His target in Benin is 45.30.

Andre Olivier (800m)

He attained a personal best in Holland in May with a 1:45.20 to dip under the 1:45.60 A-standard time. He must repeat the feat in Porto Novo.

Thuso Mpuang (200m)
The Free State Athletics sprinter attained his A-standard during the Yellow Pages II in Potchefstroom in March in 20.50 and produced another fast time (20.44) during the SA Open Championships last month. He must run under 20.55 to qualify for his second Olympics.

Johan Cronje (1 500m)
The 30-year-old national champion beat the A-standard mark 3:35.50 in Germany last month and will need to do it again in Benin.

Lebogang Moeng (200m)

The Athletics Royal Bafokeng sprinter clocked 20.51 during the Yellow Pages II in March and he must beat the 20.55 mark to confirm his place in London.

Tsholofelo Thipe (200m, 400m)
Chasing her second Olympics, Thipe achieved her first qualifying marks – 22.89 (100m) during the Yellow Pages II in March and she ran 51.52 (200m) during the SA Open Championships last month.

Her A-standard targets in Benin are 23.10 for the 200m and 51.55 for the 400m dash.

Wenda Theron (400m hurdles)
The Athletics Gauteng North dipped under the 55.50 qualifying standard at the SA Open champs last month where she twice clocked 55.37 and 55.36 in her specialist event.

SA athletes’ schedule in Benin

4pm: Long jump (men)
Khotso Mokoena, Zarck Visser

4.10pm: 400m hurdles (men)
1st Round – LJ van Zyl, PC Beneke

4.15pm: High jump – decathlon (men)

Zavion Kotze, Nardus Greyling

4.35pm: 400m (women)

1st Round – Tsholofelo Thipe, Rorisang Ramonye

5pm: 400m (men)
1st Round – Oscar Pistorius, Ofentse Mogawane

5.20pm: Shot put (men)
Final – Burger Lambrechts, Orazio Cremona, Jaco Engelbrecht

5.25pm: 100m hurdles (women)

5.45pm: Hammer (women)
Final – Annemie Smith

5.50pm: 800m (men)

1st Round – Andre Olivier, Rynhardt van Rensburg

6pm: Long jump (men)

Qualification B – Khotso Mokoena, Zarck Visser

6.35pm: 100m (men)


7pm: 400m – decathlon (men)

Zavion Kotze, Nardus Greyling

7.15pm: 10 000m (men)
Final – Stephen Mokoka

» The continental track and field event will end on Sunday.

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