Semenya notches season best

2011-03-26 19:07

Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) yesterday dominated the ­inaugural Yellow Pages inter-provincial series.

AGN starred mainly in the track events, while Central North West (CNW), which boasts arguably the top athletes in the jumps and throws, enjoyed a ­lion’s share in the field events.

Hosts Central Gauteng ­Athletics (CGA) were not to be outdone as they proved their worth in mid-distance and came one, two and three in the 1?500m final.

Leading the charge for AGN were world 800m champion Caster Semenya, sprinter ­Hannes Dreyer and SA 400m
hurdles record holder LJ van Zyl. The trio scored vital points to stand their province in good stead going into the second and final leg in Cape Town on April 16. This is despite Semenya ­falling short in the 400m with a second spot.

At stake is R100 000 for the best province in the track and field.

Semenya, who was once again the star attraction at the well ­attended meet, attained a season best of 2:01.77 in the 800m. It was an ­improvement from the 2:04.12 she posted in the season opening invitation series in ­Potchefstroom last month.

Dreyer made an ideal start to his season’s kick-off with a brace of wins in the sprints.

He pipped SA champion and CNW’s Simon Magakwe to the finish in the 100m and staved off a strong challenge from ­Athletics Free State’s Thuso Mpuang to clinch the 200m race in 20.88.

In a battle of the country’s cream in the horizontal jumps, world silver medallist Khotso Mokoena was upstaged by SA champion and CNW’s Tumelo Thagane in the triple jump.

However, the 2008 Olympics silver medallist – who competed as an individual – dusted himself off to put up a stellar showing in the long jump, with his best for the day being 8.7m in his second leap.
CGA’s glory was brought by Tebogo Masehla and Nolene Conrad, who took one and two respectively in the women’s
3 000m steeplechase.

Other star performers were the CNW duo of Justine ­Robbeson and Sunette Viljoen, who finished one and two in the women’s javelin.

The interprovincial championships determine the best province in track and field in the country.

The second leg will take place at Bellville Stadium in the Mother City.

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