Five more SA athletes qualify for Games

Five athletes achieved the ”A” qualifying standard for the Beijing Olympic Games at Germiston on Friday night, and the men’s junior pole-vault record was also broken.

This brings the total number of South African athletes assured of a place in the South African Games team to 10.

Ter de Villiers won the men’s 400m hurdles in a qualifying time of 48,71 seconds, followed by Alwyn Myburgh (48,99) and Ockert Cilliers (49,18). The surprise of the evening was that the number-one hurdler in the country, LJ van Zyl, missed out and came fourth in 50,43. He still has three more weeks to better the ”A” standard of 49,2 seconds.

In the men’s 800m, both Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, the world’s number-one 800m specialist, and Samson Ngoepe qualified in 1:45,25 and 1:45,49 respectively. Warren Hendricks, in third place, just missed out as he was over the qualifying time of 1:46 by 0,38 seconds.

Cheyne Rahme broke the junior record in the pole vault by clearing 5,1m, beating his own record, set last weekend in Potchefstroom, by 0,05m. Khotso Mokoena narrowly missed his required distance by 0,01m but had two jumps at 8,19m and must surely qualify before the end of the season.

Geraldine Pillay won the 100m in 11,35 seconds, but she would have been disappointed with her time as she was looking to try to break the South African record set by Evette de Klerk at the same track 18 years ago. It was Pillay’s first appearance in the Yellow Pages series and she will, no doubt, hope to put in a better performance in the next few weeks to reach the required Olympic qualifying standard of 11,32.

Isabel le Roux came second (11,71) and Thandi Vilakazi third (11,97), but it was Le Roux who ran away with the 200m race, her preferred distance, in 23,05 seconds, also just outside the qualifying time.

Tsholofelo Thipe was second (23,28) and Alyssa Conley third (24,22).

Ruben Ramolefi, already qualified for the Olympic Games, won the 3 000m steeplechase in 8:41,35, followed by Tshamano Setone (8:42,65) and Thuso Phaswana (9:30,85).

Justine Robbeson, who qualified last weekend in the javelin when she set a new South African record (yet to be ratified) of 63,49m, won her event with 58,31m followed by Sunette Viljoen with 57,75m.

The next meeting of the Yellow Pages Series takes place in Oudtshoorn on Saturday March 1. — Sapa

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