Strong KZN ladies team in SA Lotto championships

2011-05-20 00:00

THE SA National Lottery 10 km Championships will be held around a relatively fast course at the Germiston stadium on Sunday. The gradual gradient of around six to seven kilometres may well take the edge off the fleet of feet athletes.

KZN are fielding a strong ladies team in particular who, although they may not make the podium individually, should have the strength in depth to give a good challenge in the team medals.

The very experienced Thubalethu Phaku, who will have quite a young set of speedsters under his wing, will lead the men’s team. That said, the altitude is sure to give up-country competitors an advantage, leaving coastal runners searching for oxygen.

There’s a grand total of R 134 900 in prize money, with the winners in line to receive R15 000 and top juniors R5 000.

There’s a R50 000 incentive for any man or woman breaking the SA record (28:00 Men and 31:13 women) or making the top 50 world ranking (26:44 and 30:45). Given the venue, these are highly unlikely but do give an indication as to how far behind South Africans are at this distance.

The title race is likely to be between Boy Soke, Elroy Galant, Kgosi Tsosane, Bendict Moeng and Tshamano Setone. Running sensation Steven Mokoka will be a force to be reckoned with, but it remains unclear if the Gauteng North athlete will line up.

On paper Rene Kalmer should secure another title, but it is unclear if she will line up following her marathon race last weekend. This leaves the door open for Irvette van Blerk who finished second in her age group and ninth in her gender category in the New York half marathon earlier this year. The Phulula twins and Mapaseka Makhanya are sure to give van Blerk some stiff competition for the podium places.

Middle-distance athlete Juan van Deventer will be watching the IAAF World Championships in Daegu on television after being hit by a car while training on the road in Ruimsig, near Johannesburg. The impact broke his left kneecap.

Van Deventer, who finished seventh in the 1 500 m final at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, also missed the Berlin World Championships in 2009 and last year’s Commonwealth Games through injury.

It is expected that he will be out of action for at least two months.

The only event locally this weekend is Sunday’s Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk which offers 20 km, 15 km 10 km and five kilometre distances, but as a pre-entry event is already closed.

The races commence at various times from UShaka Marine World and finish at George Campbell School grounds in Brickhill Road. The 20 km is the primary race for serious athletes whereas the others are essentially for the leisure, health and recreational participants.

Savages have more details on the event at 078 281 6981.

There is also an expo at Greyville Race Course from May 19-21, which is open to registered participants and to the public. Those attending will have the opportunity of entering the Youth Run 10 km and five kilometre events to be held on Saturday May 28.

More details on the Youth Run are available from KZN athletics office at 031 312 9374.

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