RSA Nationals - Excellent marks

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.

African record for Harmse – South African Championships, Day One
Saturday 16 April 2005
eThekwini (Durban), South Africa - Hammer thrower Chris Harmse set an Africa record on the opening day of the ABSA South African Track and Field Championships in Kings Park Stadium on Friday (15 April), with the eyes of the nation’s athletes focused firmly on qualifying for this summer’s World Chmapionships in Helsinki, Finland.

No religious barriers for Harmse

Khotso Mokoena in Long Jump action - 2005 South African Champs
(Mark Ouma)

Harmse broke grounds with a second round effort of 80.63m in the men’s Hammer Throw. This is 37 centimetres better than the previous Africa record he set last year. “I have kept my promise of surpassing 80 metres during our domestic season. This is an indication that my training for the World championships in Helsinki, is on track,” says Harmse.

He is delighted that the hammer event is not being contested on a Sunday as that goes against his religious conviction. “This time the hammer event is on a Saturday and Monday and so I really want to make up for missing two Olympics, two World championships, and a Commonwealth Games. Since medals at the World championships are (sometimes) won with throws of just under 80 metres, this could place me in the medal bracket in Helsinki. Therefore I want to throw over 80 metres consistently before the world championships,” declared Harmse.

Mokoena - Looking for records

Heide Seyerling winning the women’s 400m - 2005 South African Champs
(Mark Ouma)

Elsewhere, there were mixed feelings for long jumper Khotso Mokoena after winning the event with an 8.26m effort. Martin McClintock (8.25) and Yaw Fosu-Amoah (7.64) were second and third respectively.

“I am glad that I have jumped further than my (8.12) than ever before. Unfortunately, since there tail win (+2.2) was above the legal limit, I will have to wait for another day to better the senior national record (8.21) Because of the strong tail wind, I decided to call it a day after the fourth jump. I hope I will have better luck in the Triple Jump tomorrow (Saturday),” said Mokoena, who is the World Junior Triple Jump champion.

Seyerling recaptures past form – 51.48 win in 400m

Meanwhile on the track, the Sydney Olympic 400m finalist Heide Seyerling showed signs of regaining previous form when she won the one lap race in
51.48. Estie Wittstock (52.21) was runner up, ahead of Adri Schoeman (53.31). “Having qualified for Helsinki, my next objective is to run under 51 seconds,” said Seyerling.

Other notable performances came in the Shot Put where Janus Robberts won the contest with a heave of 19.89m, while in the women’s event Marli Knoetze (16.30), held off her fellow teenager Simone du Toit (16.04) to clinch the gold medal. A lot of exciting competition is in store today (Saturday) as most athletes ran conservatively to save their energy for the finals.

Mark Ouma for the IAAF

Note: AFR denotes an Africa record.
HEL A denotes achieved qualifier for World Championships Helsinki A Standard HEL B denotes achieved qualifier for World Championships Helsinki B Standard PB denotes Personal best

Finals only


1 Coolboy Ngamole 28:55.61
2 Teddy Hutamo 28:59.64
3 Mbongeni Ngxazozo 29:01.21

Long Jump
1 Khotso Mokoena 8.26 (+2.2) PB
2 Martin McClintock 8.25 (+3.3) PB
3 Yaw Fosu-Amoah 7.64 (+3.0)

Pole Vault
1 Okkert Brits 5.20
2 Fanie Jacobs 5.20
3 Brent Howell 4.80

Shot Put
1 Janus Robberts 19.89
2 Burger Lambrechts 18.24
3 Roelie Potgieter 16.99

1 Chris Harmse 80.63 HEL A/ PB/AFR
2 Werner Smit 68.40
3 Kristiaan Bekker 59.16


1 Heide Seyerling 51.48 HEL A
2 Estie Wittstock 52.21 HEL B
3 Adri Schoeman 53.31

1 Poppy Mlambo 16:10.92
2 Ronel Thomas 16:19.49
3 Irevette van Blerk 16:11.41

Long Jump
1 Janice Josephs 6.38 (+5.1)
2 Justin Robbeson 6.24 (+5.2)
3 Karin Mey 6.23 (+2.3)

Pole Vault
1 Lindi Roux 4.02 PB
2 Annelie van Wyk 3.92
3 Samantha Dodd 3.92

Shot Put
1 Marli Knoetze 16.30
2 Simone du Toit 16.04
3 Elene Taljaard 13.01

1 Marilize Coetzee 50.43
2 Tanya Treurnicht 48.26
3 Karin Snyman 47.22