Eleven Athletes stake their claims for African Championship selection

2010-06-18 00:00

ELEVEN athletes have now used the qualifying ‘window period’ to stake their claim for selection to compete in the African Championship in Kenya from July 28 to August 1.

Sunette Viljoen set a continental best of 66,38 metres for javelin in Prague and joins Mapaseka Makhanya, who ran 2:03,54 in Belgium, Rene Kalmer (1 500 in 4:10,60 in Rabat) and sprinter Estie Wittstock, who covered the 200 m in 23,87 in Germany as the women looking to make the continental championships.

Still missing from the line-up is World 800 m champion Caster Semenya, who has yet to be given the opportunity to show her form over two-lapper as the outcome of the gender tests are still awaited.

Mbulaeni Muluadzi, the men’s 800 m world champion, posted 1:44,38 in New York, while both Ruben Ramolefi and Edwin Molepo have qualified in the 3 000 m steeplechase. They join Pieter van der Westhuizen (1 500 m), javelin thrower Damin Ulrich, pole vaulter Cheyne Rahme, and LJ van Zyl, who ran 48.87 in the 400 metres hurdles in Poland, looking for places on the flight to Nairobi.

In an attempt to create additional qualification opportunities for African, World Junior and Commonwealth competitions, ASA has arranged three track and field meetings, the first of which is in Stellenbosch today and tomorrow. This is followed by Sunday’s meeting at Germiston, then two events on both June 25 and 26 in Potchefstroom and Noordheuwel, Gauteng.

The ASA team for both the African championship and the World Junior Championships will be announced by the end of the month, while the team for the Commonwealth Games will be announced by Sascoc later. KZN’s Tanith Maxwell, the leading SA marathoner, is the only provincial athlete to have qualified for the team.

Although all KZN athletics events have been put on hold for the duration of the World Cup, runners have the opportunity of an intriguing challenge in the south coast town of Scottburgh tomorrow. The Scottburgh Winter’s Solstice, which marks the shortest day of the year, kicks off at sunrise (6.50 am) with the fourth in the Sunrise run series.

This innovative series has runners tackling either five-kilometre or 10 km distances, starting from the main beach and covering a mix of terrains through forest lane and dust tracks. Prizes are awarded in categories as opposed to age groups, providing races within races for a range of running abilities. The race is open to licensed and unlicensed runners.

There are awards for overall performances at the end of the series.

Those who still have energy after the run can get on their mountain bikes for a 24 km or 42 km classic offroad ride, which includes a trip through Croc World.

The routes are said to be moderate, although it is expected that recreational riders may need to take a walk or two on the steeper hills.

Both events form part of the annual Sardine Run Festival on the south coast. More information is available from Billy Harker at 082 654 6542.

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