Good mix of weekend runs, but KZN Cross Country still in turmoil

2011-05-13 00:00

TWO KZN junior athletes, Justin Palframan (400 m) and Simone Meyer (Throws) are competing in the 10th African Junior Championships being held in Gaborone, Botswana, from today to Sunday.

Palframan took on Senior competition at the recent Yellow Pages national championships where she placed second in the 400 m.

Ruben Ramolefi (3 000 m Steeplechase), Robert Oosthuizen (Javelin) and 1 500 m Champion Juan van Deventer will be competing in the second of the Samsung IAAF Diamond League meetings in Shanghai on Sunday. Ramolefi has been edging closer and closer to his own SA record time of 8:14.06 and this outing will give him additional international experience.

In South Africa, Ramolefi has been unchallenged and unhindered around the track.

Oosthuizen was a surprised second place with a throw of 84,38 metres in the first Diamond league in Doha and will be keen to add to his points total this weekend, while van Deventer will be hoping to hit to qualify for the World Championships in August in Daegu, South Korea.

ASA may have to give some special assistance to the country’s leading athletes if the team to the World Championships is to have the correct gender blend. That’s the word from Administrator Hendrick Ramaala who points out that only three female athletes have formally qualified for the event through their performances although Caster Semenya automatically gets a spot as the defending world 800 m champion.

After years of not being able to field a ladies marathon team, René Kalmer, Annerien van Schalkwyk and Tanith Maxwell have achieved the required times. Maxwell has represented the country in the marathon since the Melbourne Commonwealth Games where she was partnered with Charné Bosman.

Leading track and field women such as the Phalula twins (middle distance), Sunette Viljoen (Javelin), Estie Wittstock (sprints), and Elizna Naude (discus) have yet to qualify.

With only three months to the opening ceremony there is some anxiety in athletic circles, although in reality the European circuit has only just begun and as long as the athletes can get spots to compete in these events, they may do better to qualify in late June or July, as part of their build up to South Korea.

Zululand Multi sports club host a new and exciting race this weekend in the form of the St Lucia half marathon and 10 km. The event commences from Sugar Loaf Caravan and camping park at 8 am and is made up of a two lap course that includes 1,8 km of forest running and 500 m along the boardwalk on each circuit.

The race is relatively flat in that there is a gentle climb up to and back down from the town centre and should be capable of providing fast times.

Anyone who requires more information on the event should call Barend Harmse on 082 782 8172.

Another novel event in Durban this weekend is the first of three Sunrise runs. The 10 km and 5 km events commence from Durban Surf at North Beach and run north to include Moses Mabhida stadium and a short run along the beach.

The 10 km route around the stadium will take runners to places not normally accessible.

Billy Harker and Kingfisher Athletic Club are hosts of the event which commences at 6.45 am. However, runners should note that entries are taken through ROAG on line and only remain open until tomorrow or can be taken manually at the New Balance factory shop in Stamford Hill Road in Durban.

Meanwhile the KZN Cross Country league remains in a state of turmoil with yet another league fixture being postponed or cancelled.

A notice has been sent out that the Verulam event scheduled to take place tomorrow has been postponed due to the prior booking of the venue. Verulam AC will confirm the new date and venue in due course. It is not clear yet how the Cross Country commission will sort the points for the events simultaneously hosted by Savages and Collegians Harriers on Saturday 30 April.

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