Viljoen third in Lausanne (Fri 24 Aug)
Friday, 24 August 2012 - South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen finished third in the women’s javelin throw at the 11th leg of the Samsund Diamond League in Lausanne, Switzerland last night.
Viljoen struggled to find the big distances and threw three fouls from her six attempts. The SA and Africa record holder produced a throw of 64m in the second round, 61.59m in the fourth round, followed by a heave of 64.08m in the fifth to secure a third place finish.
Olympic gold medallist Barbora Spotakova (CZE) won the competition with a best attempt of 67.19m, while Russian world champion, Mariya Abakumova, finished second. German Olympic silver and bronze medallists, Christina Overgfoll and Linda Stahl, were unable to repeat their performances and finished fourth and sixth respectively.
Viljoen is now ranked second overall (7 points) in the standings going into the next leg of the series in Birmingham. Spotakova currently leads with 14 points with Abakumova third (6 points).
Sunette Viljoen, Khotso Mokoena and Lehann Fourie will compete in their respective events at the 12th leg of the Samsung Diamond league in Birmingham, England on Sunday, 26 August.
Khotso Mokoena finished eighth in the men’s long jump at the London Olympics on 4 August and will be up against a strong field of competitors. Five of the seven competitors are Olympic finalists. Olympic champion, Greg Rutherford (GBR), jumped 8.31m to comfortably win at the Olympic Games. His personal best of 8.35m was recorded on 3 May in California. Silver and bronze medallists, Mitchell Watt (AUS) and Will Claye (USA), will also be back in action along with other familiar names such as Aleksandr Menkov from Russia and Chris Tomlinson (GBR).
The men’s 110m hurdles will almost be a like a repeat of the Olympic Games final, with just two athletes in the line-up not being Olympic finalists. South Africa’s Lehann Fourie had a brilliant campaign leading up to the final of the Games. He set up a new personal best of 13.28sec in the semi-final of the event, but unfortunately clipped most of the hurdles in the final. Aries Merritt, USA’s Olympic Champion, along with Jason Richardson (USA silver medallist), Hansle Parchment (Jamaican bronze medallist), Lawrence Clarke (GBR) and Ryan Brathwaite (BAR) are some of the Olympians to compete on Sunday. Merritt is the fastest man in the world in the event this season, with a personal best of 12.92sec recorded at the Games on 8 August.
Barbora Spotakova and Sunette Viljoen, as well as the German Olympic medallists, Christina Obergfoll and Linda Stahl, will once again meet in Birmingham in the women’s javelin throw.
For the full start lists and results please visit the following link: www.diamondleague-birmingham.com/Home/. The Samsung Diamond League Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix will be broadcast on Supersport 5 from 16:00-18:00 on 26 August.
Mokoka to defend men’s Half Marathon title(Tues 21 Aug)
Friday, 17 August 2012 - Stephen Mokoka will defend his title at the SA Half Marathon Championshipsin Cape Town on 26 August.
In 2011, the Gauteng North athlete won the title ahead of Xolisa Tyali and Lucky Mohale, both athletes from Central Gauteng Athletics. Mokoka won the race in 1:02:07 while Tyali and Mohale crossed the line in 1:02:43 and 1:03:04 respectively.
This season the Half Marathon Champion won the Sasol Half Marathon in Sasolburg on 4 February in a time of 65:11. At the SA 10km Championships in Kimberley on 19 May, he crossed the line in fourth position.
On 12 August, Mokoka was one of three male athletes to represent South Africa in the marathon at the Olympic Games in London. He finished 49th overall, clocking 2:19:52. The 27 year-old also competed in the Waterberg Executive Mayor’s 28 km race on 9 June in Modimolle (formerly Nylstroom), winning in 85:15.
Mokoka’s best time of 61:26 in the half marathon, was recorded at the National Championships held in Port Elizabeth in 2009.
For Mokoka, the SA Half Marathon Championships will serve as preparation for the World Championships taking place later in the year. “I want to be a part of the team for the World Half Marathon Championships taking place in Bulgaria on 6 October,” said Mokoka.
Other familiar faces at the Championships include the 2010 winner Lucky Mohale, SA 10km Champion Elroy Gelant, Coolboy Ngamole, Boy Soke, Gladwin Mzazi, Kgosi Tsosane, Lusapho April and the SA Marathon record holder Gert Thys.
The route will be a double lapper through Constantia in Cape Townfinishing at the Sport fields of Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
A total of R134 900 has been made available in prize money excluding the R50 000 for SA Records and R20 000 for World top 50 performances (1:00:36 for men and 1:09:12 for women). The winner of the half marathon, both men and women, will receive R15 000 with R10 000 going to the silver medallist and R7500 for finishing 3rd. There are also prizes available for the winning teams.
The SA Half Marathon Championships will start at 07h00 at the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science & Technology in Firgrove Way, Constantia. The victory ceremony will take place at 10h30.
Women’s defending champion could miss SA Half Marathon Championships(Tues 21 Aug)
Monday, 20 August 2012 - The defending Half Marathon champion, René Kalmer, is still uncertain whether she will be able to compete at the SA Half Marathon Championships on Sunday, 26 August, due to an injury sustained at the London Olympics.
“I injured my Plantar Fascia (the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot) and will have to see how it responds to treatment before making a final decision,” said Kalmer. “I started practising today after resting for two weeks.”
Kalmer was the best South African performer in the marathon at the Olympic Games last month, where she finished 35th overall in a time of 2:30:51. Her achievements in the half marathon this year include wins at all four events she competed at. On 29 January, she won the Johnson Crane Half Marathon in Benoni in 75:24. She improved the time on 7 April at the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town, winning the race in 75:02. After that, victory at the SA Pork Kwai Challenge on 13 May in Randburg in 76:18 and the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon in Japan late in May in a season best time of 73:02.
Should Kalmer not recover in time for the Championships, there will be an opportunity for a new champion to step forward. Regular half marathon athlete, Irvette van Blerk, won’t compete either, due to heavy Paratendonitis, an injury to the outer layer of the tendon. Van Blerk who was one of the trio that competed at the Olympic Games in the marathon, dropped out early due to injury.
Nolene Conrad, a 3000m steeple chase athlete, will be one of the familiar faces contesting the title on Sunday. Conrad won the Sam Nujoma 21km in Namibia on 31 July. “I feel very strong after my win and look forward to the Championships. My goal is to run a personal best,” said Conrad. Her best time (74:40) was set up on 24 July 2010 at the National Championships in Port Elizabeth.
Other athletes to compete include Christine Kalmer, Mpho Mabuza, SA Marathon Champion, Charne Bosman, SA 3000m Steeplechase record holder, Tebogo Masehla, as well as Lebo Phalula, to name a few.
A total of R134 900 has been made available in prize money excluding the R50 000 for SA Records and R20 000 for World top 50 performances (1:00:36 for men and 1:09:12 for women). The winner of the half marathon, both men and women, will receive R15 000, with R10 000 going to the silver medallist and R7500 for finishing 3rd. There are also prizes available for the winning teams.
The SA Half Marathon Championships will start at 07h00 at the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science & Technology in Firgrove Way, Constantia. The route will be a double lapper through Constantia in Cape Town, finishing at the Sport fields of Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology.