Posted on 16 April 2005 - 18:22
Day two of the SA Track and Field Championships provided the Durban crowd with plenty to cheer about on Saturday, with SA records being shattered, new champions emerging and World Championship qualifying marks obtained.
In what always turns out to be one of the races of the championships, LJ van Zyl edged out a world-class field to win the 400m hurdles title.
The former world junior champion ran the fastest race of his life to cross the line in a new personal best of 48,39 as he left the likes of Sydney bronze medallist Llewellyn Herbert and Athens finalist Alwyn Myburgh in his wake.
Herbert finished second in 48,57 and Ter de Villiers third in 48,70 with the top five athletes all finishing within the qualification mark for the World Championships being held in Helsinki in August.
It was the first time De Villiers has dipped under the 49 second mark but he will have to battle it out with last year’s national champion Ockert Cilliers (fifth in 49,05) and Myburgh (fourth in 49,0) for the last spot on the team to Helsinki.
Meanwhile, Khotso Mokoena continued in his record-breaking ways as he claimed the triple jump title to add to Friday night’s long jump gold. Mokoena shattered his own SA mark in winning with a distance of 17,25m
Other impressive performances came from sprint queen Geraldine Pillay (who won the 100m in 11,07, just one hundredth of a second off the national record, and then went on to take the 200m title in 22,78) and Surita Febbraio who made sure of her place on the World Championships team with a 54,60 victory in the 400m hurdles. Her time was exactly a second inside the qualifying mark.
The 800m saw Athens silver medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi reclaiming the title he lost to Hezekiel Sepeng last year. Mulaudzi pulled off a comfortable victory in 1:44,96 with Sepeng second in 1:45,51 and Werner Botha, who had led for much of the race, third in 1:46,09.
Meanwhile, the country’s future in the javelin events is looking bright after Lohan Rautenbach and Ynthi Coetzee both broke records on their way to victory.
Rautenbach set a new SA junior record of 80,03m for victory in the men’s event while Coetzee threw a new SA youth record of 57,29m for her win. The surprise of the afternoon was that African record-holder Sunette Viljoen finished out of the medals after only managing a 51,50m throw.
Elsewhere in the field, Jacques Freitag took victory in the high jump with a 2,35m clearance. He had three attempts at 2,40m but just couldn’t manage the African record-breaking mark.
Frantz Kruger claimed discus gold with a 61,01m throw while Coolboy Ngamole took his second title of the championships by winning the 5000m (to add to his 10,000m gold) in 13:56,14, as did Poppy Mlambo after winning the 10,000m (to add to her 5000m gold) in 33:46,23.
Meanwhile, in the other sprints of the day, defending champion Leigh Julius won the 200m in 20,38 while Jean du Randt won his first ever senior national title in the 100m in 10,34. Jan van der Merwe surprised Marcus la Grange to take the 400m title in 45,94, in a race in which Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius finished sixth in 47,37.
Making the most of defending champion Shaun Bownes’s absence Frikkie van Zyl won 110m hurdles gold in 13,77.