Mixed fortunes at Potch athletics meet

The second meeting of the Yellow Pages Ultimate Athletics series, held at the PUK McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom, was an evening of mixed fortunes.

The weather played a huge part as a fierce wind and dust storm caused several events to be cancelled while others were interrupted and completed later in the evening.

The much-anticipated clash of giants in the men’s 400m flat race between LJ van Zyl and Alwyn Myburgh took a surprise turn when Ofense Mogawane won the race in 46,49 seconds. Sidewell Miti was second (46,71) and Van Zyl came in third (46,79).

Van Zyl said he was pleased with his season-opener, while Myburgh suffered from cramps during the race. He finished in fifth place in 47,16.
Earlier, Myburgh finished second in the 200m (21,52), trailing Corne du Plessis (21,44). In third place was Kagisho Kumbane (21,67).

The women’s 100m was a close contest with Estie Wittstock achieving a personal best of 11,55 seconds. Promising youngster Tsholofelo Thipe came second, also in 11,55, while Constance Mkenku ran in third (11,65).

Wittstock, unable to repeat her double of last week, finished second in the 200m (24,07) behind Isabel le Roux (23,32). Thipe finished an admirable third in 24,28.

The women’s 800m was once again dominated by the Phalula twins with Lebogang (2:09,44) just pipping Lebo by a fraction of a second (2:09,67). In third place was Marlene Breytenbach (2:10,35).

In the men’s shot put, Janus Robberts, Commonwealth gold medallist, made his season debut with a winning distance of 19,14m, with Roelie Potgieter (18,9m) and Orazio Cremora (17,54m)—who was well below his best—taking the major places.

Despite the pre-event publicity, Llewellyn Herbert did not make an appearance in the final event, the men’s 400m hurdles. Ockert Cilliers made a welcome return to win in 49,69 seconds, followed by Pieter Koekemoer (51,55) and PC Beneke in third (52,63).

The next series meet takes place in Durban next Friday night.—Sapa

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