The lost talent of SA sport

2012-03-17 14:51

Not much is known about Karin Melis Mey. But a trace of her records in domestic athletics show that the 28-year-old is still the senior national record holder four years after she left these shores.

Her standing mark is 6.93m.

Mey hails from Bronkhorstspruit in Mpumalanga. She competed for Tuks Athletics Club before she obtained Turkish citizenship in June 2008.

Prior to her migration, she was included in Team South Africa’s squad for the Beijing Olympics but her change in citizenship ruled her out.

According to prominent athletics officials and athletes, Mey left South Africa to join Fenerbahçe Sports Club on the advice of her long-time coach and now husband Charley Strohmenger.

The two didn’t respond to City Press’s request for an interview, sent last week, and follow-up attempts to reach them through their club also failed.

In her brief spell in the south eastern European country, Mey has been a dominant force in Turkish athletics.

She just missed out on a final berth at the World Indoor Championships after she made two no-jumps during the qualifiers last weekend.

She brought Turkey its only medal – a bronze – from the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

Mey, with a personal best of 6.99m, was a finalist at the South Korea world championships last year. During her time in South Africa, Mey had a fierce rivalry with Janice Josephs, who has dominated local women’s long jump for the past four years.

Athletics South Africa chief executive Frik Vermaak, who is a former athletics commentator, said of Mey: “It is sad to lose someone with the talent of Karin. But now there is a renewed sense of belief in our athletics as there is some new talent coming through in the women’s long jump.”

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