Fifteen athletes make the grade for Commonwealth Games

2010-03-23 00:00

BY THE end of the Yellow Pages SA Track and Field Championships at King’s Park in Durban on Saturday and Sunday, there were 15 athletes who had made the A grade qualification for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October.

Among the most enthusiastic of those to miss out was friendly hammer-throwing giant Chris Harmse, who earned his 15th national title with a throw of 73,54 m — only 0,81 m short of the qualifying distance.

It was just as well 400 m hurdler LJ van Zyl had already qualified, as he was disqualified from the heats for a false start. The new International Association of Athletics Federations rule, which no longer allows for a false-start warning, saw Van Zyl watching the final from the stands. However, Cornel Fredericks ran an impressive 49,7 seconds to put him in contention for the games.

Ruben Ramolefi won the 3 000 m steeplechase in 8:21:74, while Sunette Viljoen launched the javelin out to 63,45 m.

Hardus Pienaar earned the javelin title with a 79,22 m throw, which could put him on the flight to India.

Tebogo Masehla (10:00:84) and Myrette Filmalter (10:03:07) also look set to earn Commonwealth slots for the 3 000m.

Long jumper Khotso Mokoena was among the top-class performers, comfortably leaping 8,01 m. Feeling the effects of the 1 500 m qualifiers , Stephen Mokoka stayed in the pack until the final two kilometres of the 10 000 m. He won in 28:18:54.

Prodigal Khumalo won the annual Boxer Stella Royal 25 km in a race that saw athletes taking a wrong turn, reducing the distance by about two kilometres. With the leaders following the police car instead of the lead car, the winning times are meaningless, but Khumalo’s lead was sufficient for the athletes to be happy with the positions. Second went to Sipho Ngxongo, just less than 600 m behind Khumalo, with Sazi Ndaba in third place.

Boxer’s Tanith Maxwell also turned the wrong way and finished the two-lapper in 1:32:55, with club colleague Maya Lawrie, also on the short route, taking second spot.

Sergio Motsoeneng of Discovery Health won the annual Ulundi 56 km ultra-marathon, by a 100 m margin, over Mr Price’s Bongmusa Mthembu. Club-mate Sandile Makhaye took third sport. Mr Price’s Monika Kagivmu won the women’s race in 4:26:45, with Jane Mkhumuleli second and Onkemegse Nkame third.

Thubalethu Phaku won the 10 km race, crossing the line in 30:48, only 31 seconds clear of Moses Lepheana. Boxer’s Pufeletso Dladla won the women’s section by 14 seconds over local athlete Matrinta Motha.

Athletes who have met Commonwealth qualification: LJ van Zyl (400 m hurdles), Cornel Fredericks (400 m hurdles), Ruben Ramolefi (3000 m Steeplechase), Robert Oosthuizen (Javelin), Hardus Pienaar (Javelin), Tumelo Thagane (Triple Jump), Setone Tshamano (5 000 m), Elroy Galant (5 000 m), Khotso Mokoena (Long Jump), Women: Estie Wittstock (400 m), Elizna Naude (Discus), Sunette Viljoen (Javelin), Justine Robbeson (Javelin), Tebogo Masehla (3 000 m Steeplechase), Myrette Filmalter (3 000 m Steeplechase)

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