LJ?van?Zyl wins share of pot of gold

2011-03-01 00:00

SOUTH African 400 metre hurdler LJ van Zyl smashed Llewellyn Herbert’s 47.80 second record set at the 2000 Sydney Olympics at the Yellow Pages meet in Tshwane on Friday, carving 0.14 seconds from the time.

Van Zyl’s 47.66 will be marked as an altitude performance but makes him the first person to earn a share of the R200 000 pot of gold incentive up for grabs in the Yellow Pages series this year. If no other athlete breaks a national record it will be a winner takes all story.

“I didn’t want to lose in front of my people and expected to run a good 48 second race,” said the elated athlete, who with coach Hennie Kotze will now have to reschedule the year in order to be in top form for the World Championships in South Korea.

Fredericks finished in slow 49.61 seconds with PC Beneke behind him in 51.7.

World junior long jump champion Luvo Manyonga fended off the challenge from former Olympic medallist James Beckford to win the long jump in an impressive 8,05 metres.

It was an excellent result for Manyonga who is participating in his first season as a senior athlete.

World 800 m champion Caster Semenya failed to transfer her 800 m talent into the 1 500 m distance when she finished fourth place behind Lebogang Phalula, who won in a disappointing 4:09.08. Twin sister Lebo Phalula took second in a distant 4:21.09 with Christine Kalmer third, over three seconds later.

Suzette Botha was part of a large contingent from KwaZulu-Natal and took the Old Mutual Buffs Marathon by storm. After a relatively easy first two kilometres the tall, slim Eskom athlete left her peers and the majority of the men in her wake on her way to a two hours 49 minute and 59 second victory.

“I have struggled with injury in the past year, and use the downhill Pinetown 25 km as a test for this race. I was pleased with my result there and thought I might be able to improve on my previous best here,” said the talented mother of two who has previously covered the Buffs Marathon in 2:48.

Botha added the 35-39 age group award to her trophy haul.

Xoliswa Bici was a distant second over 20 minutes adrift but had her hands full in a dice with East London’s Sharon Wood who eventually settled for the final podium position in 3:14:33, only 21 seconds behind the Hlazo runner.

Melikhaya Sithuba won the men’s race in an impressive two hours 19 minutes 13 seconds, with only Mzolisi Makhanda able to see his heels in the first third of the race.

Makhanda stuck to the task, but lost more ground over the final eight kilometres to finish almost 700 metres adrift in two hours 20 minutes and 43 seconds.

KZN runners provided 17% of the finishers with Vanessa Zimmerman of Kearsney striders fourth in the ladies race and Judith Grove of Hilton Harriers finishing second in the 50-59 age category.

At time of going to press the results of the Vryheid half marathon and 10-km were not available.

Runners should note that the Midlands Meander Marathon scheduled for March 27 has been cancelled.


Old Mutual Buff Marathon

Men: 1. Melikhaya Sithuba Nedbank EP 2:19:13, 2. Mzolisi Makhanda Nedbank EP 2:20:43, 3. Zingisile Marikeni Corr Serv 2:30:29, 4. Thabiso Mohapi Nedbank FS 2:33:55, 5. Mzukisi Kebeni Real Gijimas 2:35:28

Women: 1. Suzette Botha Eskom KZN 2:49:59, 2. Xoliswa Bici Hlazo 3:14:12, 3. Sharon Wood East London 3:14:33, 4. Vanessa Zimmerman Kearsney Strider 3:16:08, 5. Andrea Ranger Old Selbournian 3:27:11.

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