Semenya the crowd-puller in Berlin

2010-08-24 00:00

CASTER Semenya provided a crowd-pulling performance in the women’s two-lapper in Berlin on Sunday.

The South African, who was competing in her third international comeback meet, was the only 800 metres competitor to finish the race under the two-minute barrier 1:59.90.

Kenyan Cherono Koech was second with 2:00,40 and Italian Elisa Cumso Piccione third with 2:00,44.

It was almost exactly a year since Semenya ran her 1:55 gold medal performance on the blue Berlin Championship track.

David Rudisha’s new record will make the Commonwealth medal challenge even tougher for South Africa’s other 800 m World Champion, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. He, like many of the country’s elite athletes, is struggling to reach another peak in what has already been an excessively busy season.

Although improving on her recent performance, Sunette Viljoen could only launch her javelin to 59,95 metres in Zurich’s Diamond league on Thursday.

She followed this with a 60,66 metre fourth place in Berlin behind German Christina Obergfoll’s winning distance of 67,57 metres.

The African champion is yet to regain the form she showed a month ago, but still has five weeks before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.

Samuel Pazanga won the annual Merewent 10 km, opening a 120 metre lead over the young and highly talented Jari Nunyawazi from the Bluff Meats Formula One club.

Yet another Zimbabwean, Professor Mollen, made it two for the Mr Price contingent by placing third in 29 minutes exactly.

Boxer’s Janene Carey had little difficulty in securing victory in the ladies race which is sure to boost her confidence for next week’s Durban Spar ladies event where she could face stiff opposition from up-country visitors.

Crossing the line in 37:35, Carey had almost two minutes on second- placed Iris Ndlovu, with Jenny Sutton not only filling the final podium place, but also taking the 40-49 age category. Carey dominated the 35-39 age group.

Unfortunately, the enforced route change to accommodate the city-supported cycle race on the same morning meant the course could not be officially measured and, as such, the fast times cannot be used for ranking or selection purposes.

Durban University of Technology’s flyer, Thubalethu Phaku, added the Corridor Half-marathon in uMzimkhulu to his list of victories, taking one hour 17 minutes and 32 seconds for the 21 km tour of the south coast town and relegating Comrades gold medallist Bongumusa Mthembu to second spot in 1:19:03.

Mthembu used the running strength that took him into third place in the 90 km Comrades to hold off his Mr Price club-mate, Petros Sosibo, over the tough course. Sosibo was 100 m adrift at the line in 1:19:44.

It was neck and neck when the lead women closed in towards the finish, with Eskom’s Sibongile Ziqubu taking the honours in 1:56:51 — a clear indication of the challenge in the route.

Less than 30 metres separated her from Nedbank’s Nombulelo Mbuli, with Tholakele Sigubudua rather distance third place.

Women are reminded that the Chesterville Spar Ladies race will be held next Sunday and entries and race numbers can be collected on Friday and Saturday at the Sun Coast Casino. More details on

A new record for the largest entry is expected to be set in Pretoria on Saturday when 20 000 women are due to line up for the Spar 10 km.

This means that some of the country’s leading runners will be looking to gain Grand Prix points by doing the races back to back.


Merewent 10km:

MEN: 1. Samuel Pazanga ZIM/Mr P 28:28, 2. Jari Nunyawazi Form 1 28:49, 3. Professor Mollen ZIM/Mr P 29:00

35-39: Shingi Badza Form 1 29:40.

40-49: Herbert Mazongolo Toyota 33:25.

50-59: Jan Koegelenberg Mr P 36:25.

60+: Andrew Spence SCS 40:27.

WOMEN: 1. Janene Carey Boxer 37:35, 2. Iris Ndlovu Boxer 39:22, 3. Jenny Sutton YWP 40:30

35-39: Janene Carey Boxer 37:35.

40-49: Jenny Sutton YWP 40:30.

50-59: June Watson PDAC 45:18.

60+: Lien Botha Toti 44:54.

Corridor Half-marathon

MEN 1. Thubalethu Phaku DUT 1:17:32, 2. Bongumusa Mthembu Mr P 1:19:03, 3. Petros Sosibo Mr P 1:19:44

WOMEN 1. Sibongile Ziqubu Eskom 1:56:51, 2. Nombulelo Mbuli Ned 1:57:00, 3. Tholakele Sigubudu Boxer 2:02:23

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