Magakwe is Yellow Pages sprint king

2012-04-14 19:04

Simon Magakwe stood out as he chalked up two national titles in different events at the Yellow Pages SA senior championships here yesterday.

On a day when elite athletes failed to attain the Olympics A-standard times, the Athletics Central North West (ACNW) member yesterday dragged Thuso Mpuang to the finishing line in a photo finish in a personal best of 10.11 in the 200m final.

This added to the 100m national crown he scooped earlier in the day.

The ongoing campaign has been the best so far for Magakwe, who runs in the colours of Athletics Royal Bafokeng.

His personal best, which is within the A-standard 10.18, has equalled Tshakile Nzimande – who ran the time in 1988 – and is number five in the SA all- time list.

He upped his personal best with 10.16 during the interclubs championships just last week.

Horizontal jumps specialist Patience Ntshingila, also of ACNW, became the first local woman to clinch the double as she took the triple and long jumps.

Former 800m world champions Caster Semenya and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi won in their respective 800m races, but with slower times that the required marks.

It was different with 2008 Olympic medallist Khotso Mokoena and LJ van Zyl, who were dethroned in the long jump and 400m hurdles, respectively.

Little-known Zarch Visser of Central Gauteng Athletics beat Mokoena to the long jump for his first national title, while Cornel Federicks also outsmarted Van Zyl to the 400m title for his first SA title.

“It is always tough to beat a competitive athlete like LJ and hopefully I’ll run faster in the build-up to the Olympics,” said Fredericks of Western Province after making the qualifying Olympic time to join Stephen (10 000m) and Sunette Viljoen (javelin) among those who achieved the Olympics A-standard time in their respective events at the two-day traditional championships.

Spare a thought for Visser as the 22-year-old’s 8.21m victory was tainted by the 2.2 wind reading in his jump on Friday.

Any reading over two is deemed wind assisted in terms of the IAAF rules.

The qualifying jump for the games is 8.20m.

This punches holes in Athletics South Africa’s decision to opt for the “Windy City” as the hosts in the year of the Olympic Games.

As for the likes of Semenya, Mulaudzi and Mokoena, it is not all gloom as they will line up at the third leg of the Yellow Pages Series in Pretoria on Friday.

In fact, the two 2009 world champions will also venture into the European circuit to enhance their chances in the coming IAAF Diamond League.

According to Sascoc’s qualification policy, athletes must obtain the A-standard at two events – one local and one with the international status – to be eligible for a place in the South African Olympic final team.

Even Mokoka, who has already qualified for the marathon, must still run another 10 000m within the required 27:45.00 mark.

» Follow me on Twitter @DanieMothowagae

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