Long jumper Mokoena leaps forward in Estonia, Ludwick Mamabolo allowed back into Comrades

2013-02-13 00:00

LONG jumper Khotso Mokoena continued his impressive start to his season with a weekend win in Estonia, leaping 7,95 metres to beat Britain’s Chris Tomlinson by 15 cm.

Mokoena had earleir won in Tampere, Finland, with a jump of 8,01 m.

The Tukkies athlete was dogged with take-off problems last year, primarily because of his fast run-up.

Jukka Härkönen, Mokoena’s agent, now also fulfils the role of coach and is confident the problem can be rectified quickly to put Mokoena back into medal contention for the Indoor world championships.

Härkönen, who also manages Caster Semenya, said the 800 metre Olympic silver medallist will make a late start to the season with her focus on winning a medal at the World Championships in Moscow in August.

In what is an unusual step, Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo, who tested positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine, has been allowed to return to competition prior to the finalisation of his case.

In December, Mamabola’s lawyers provided documentation and arguments claiming that the testing procedures of the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) at Comrades 2012 were flawed on 14 counts.

These were based only on evidence provided by SAIDS and they called for dismissal of the case. Although this was not granted in January, the latest judgment allowing Mamabola back to competition suggests that the case against him may well fold.

Mamabola was back in action for the first time since his suspension in July and finished seventh in the Pick n Pay half-marathon in one hour, 11 minutes and 51 seconds.

Athletics SA (ASA) administration faced another financial setback last week when dismissed CEO Frik Vermaak took the federation to the CCMA and both parties agreed to settle.

ASA president James Evans said he would not comment on the details of the settlement.

Late last week, Evans also had to step in to ensure prize money was paid to athletes from a number of events, including the Soweto Marathon, which had kept runners waiting three months for their winnings.

Runners withstood weekend thunder, lightning and heavy rain for the 36th NOSA Hillcrest Marathon, which was won by Eric Ngubane in two hours, 31 minutes and four seconds, with Sandile Makhaye and Boxer’s Jabulani Mabaso filling the other podium places.

Running his second marathon in seven days, Eloi de Oliveira won the 50-59, dipping under the three-hour barrier by 47 seconds.

Pat Dammann was the best of the women with a relatively slow three hours, 21 minutes and three seconds, and added the 35-39 category to her winnings.

The Boxer club scored a double victory in the half-marathon with Siyabonga Nkonde (1:06:15) and Poppy Mlambo (1:21:48) topping the podium.

This week’s major race is the Mortimer Toyota 5 in 1 ultra-marathon, which commences on Saturday morning in Newcastle at 5.30 am and offers distances of five kilometres, 10 km, 21 km 42 km and 50 km.

The race base is Hutton Park School and Andre Grundlingh has the details at 083 653 2865.

Both the 50 km and the 42 km are Comrades and Old Mutual Two Oceans qualifiers.

Runners are reminded that the entries for the Weekend Witness Marathon and half-marathon have closed, but the new addition of a 10 km will remain open until race weekend on February 24. This new distance has the potential of relatively fast times.

After starting in Prince Alfred Street, runners do a small lap that takes in Jabu Ndlovu Street before they run down Albert Luthuli Street to join the main 21 km route at Ridge Road and complete the same final six kilometres to finish at the Drill Hall.

This year’s race has attracted another massive entry and will be preceded by the first ever AIMS Regional race conference.

For more information on all events, including the flame-lighting ceremony tomorrow evening, call John Hall at 082 491 76 79.

RESULTS

The Hillcrest 42,2 km

Men: 1. Eric Ngubane 2:31:04

2. Sandile Makhaye 2:32:54

3. Jabulani Mabaso 2:35:22

Women: 1. Pat Dammann 3:21:03

2. Wendy Durow 3:28:55

3. Kate Swarbuck 3:30:25

The Hillcrest 21,1  km

Men: 1. Siyabonga Nkonde 66:15

2. Lungisi Mdedelwa 66:41

3. Samuel Pazanga 69:20

Women: 1. Poppy Mlambo 81:48

2. Jenna Challenor 83:47

3. Janene Carey 87:36

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