Bumper weekend for athletics fans

2010-03-12 00:00

THERE’S a full spectrum of athletics this weekend, starting with the five South Africans competing in the World Indoor Championships in Doha.

Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena will once again face up to Panama’s Irving Saladino and the world’s best in the long jump, while the 1500 m duo of Peter van der Westhuizen and Juan van Deventer have an outside chance of a medal in the 7½ lap event.

Janice Joseph will hope to emulate Mokoena in the long jump and Rene Kalmer, who has been running personal bests and reduced the SA 3000 m indoor record to nine minutes 2,92 seconds in Stuttgart. The previous record had stood for 19 years, but the 1500 m Olympian is still likely to find the championship pace a bit fast for her liking.

“I am definitely ready for World Indoor Champs. Once again, I am hoping to make my country proud,” said Mokoena who leapt to 7,93 metres in last week’s Yellow Pages event in Potchefstroom.

Back in Durban today, the KZN primary schools athletes will be competing in their championships at King’s Park Athletics Stadium.

This will be followed tomorrow and on Sunday by the KZN Youth and Junior Provincial Championships, which incorporates the KZN Secondary Schools Championships.

This will see the province’s best 16-to-19-year-old athletes competing for medals and team places for the SA championships later in the year.

This is the first of a number of championships scheduled for King’s Park with the SA Senior Track and Field Championships being held next Friday and Saturday.

These championships are also a key stepping stone in selection for the Commonwealth Games, and gives the KZN public the opportunity to watch the very best of South Africa’s athletes in action. A full programme of events is available through the KZN office at 031 312 9374.

Off-road tomorrow sees the first of the KZN cross-country leagues, which will be hosted at Amanzimtoti Athletic Club in Hutchinson Park starting at noon. Entries for all events will be open by 11 am and close 20 minutes before the scheduled start time of each race. Teams and individual athletes who want to take part should contact Lawrence at 084 485 1598.

There are two road races this weekend. The first off is Sunday’s Oasis Sporting Club’s half-marathon and 10 km run and walk.

The event commences next to Parklands Hospital above Overport City and runs a hilly and remarkably scenic route around Morningside and Berea. The half- marathon is a two-lap event with both races commencing at 6 am. Walkers are welcome in both distances. Bilal Rawat has more details at 072 634 3386

Marathons are now becoming a weekly occurrence as the road-running scene steps up to prime Two Oceans and Comrades months. This week’s action is at Midmar, where Collegians Harriers offer the 42 km, 32 km and 15 km distances, with walkers catered for in the 15 km.

The 42 km and 32 km commence at 6 am and the 15 km goes under the gun at 6.30 am.

With the vast growth of fields in both the Hillcrest and Postnet/ Weekend Witness events, it is expected that a large field will descend on the resort, so plan to get there early. Warren Phippen has more details and information at 082 685 2294


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