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Magakwe takes Africa sprint title

Simon Magakwe

Simon Magakwe

Thursday, 28 June 2012 – Simon Magakwe won gold in the men’s 100m on day two of the Africa Senior Championships in Benin, the second gold medal for South Africa at the Championships.   He crossed the line in 10.29sec.

The 27 year-old Magakwe was hunting the 10.18sec Olympic qualifying standard and even though he did not achieve it again, he is still happy. “I really feel good because I came here with my mind set on the gold.”
Magakwe went on to say that conditions were very tough, but that he hopes that his Olympic dreams can become a reality.  Magakwe reached the Olympic qualifying A-standard a total of six times during the season.  He won bronze at the 2010 Africa Championships in Kenya.

Amr Saoud (EGY) and Hua Wilfried Serge Koffi (CIV) took silver and bronze in 10.34sec and 10.37sec respectively.

Zarck Visser won silver in men’s long jump with a leap of 7.98m in the second round.  Senegal’s Ndiss Kaba Badji lead from the start with an opening jump of 7.95m but Visser fought back in the second round with his winning leap.  Badji, a former Olympic Games finalist, then broke the 8m mark in the third round, with a jump of 8.04m for the win.  Ghana’s Ignisious Gaisah won bronze (7.73m).

Juanita Stander won silver in the women’s pole vault after clearing 3.50m at her second attempt.  She failed at 3.60m.  Tunisian athlete Syrine Ebondo Balti won with a height of 3.80m.  Jeannie van Dyk was third with another athlete from Tunisia, Dorra Mahfoudhi.  Both athletes cleared 3.40m.

Elizna Naude won silver in the women’s discus throw with 55.88m in the third round.  The winning distance was 56.60m by Chinwe Okoro from Nigeria.  The South African 4x100m relay team consisting of Ruan de Vries, Simon Magakwe, Roscoe Engel and Thuso Mpuang finished second in 39.47sec behind Ghana (39.38sec).

Andre Olivier qualified for the final of the men’s 800m after winning his race in 1:46.63 ahead of Cornelius Kiplagat from Kenya.  Kiplagat clocked 1:47.92.  Olivier will now compete in the final of the event where he will have a last opportunity to reach the 1:45.60 Olympic qualifying mark.  Rynhardt van Rensburg did not make it to the next round after finishing fifth in his heat, crossing the line in 1:50.12.

Oscar Pistorius and Willie de Beer went through to the final of the men’s 400m.  Pistorius finished second in his semi-final after crossing the line in 46.14sec while de Beer also placed second in his heat, automatically qualifying for the final in 46.33sec.  Ofentse Mogawane missed out on qualifying after finishing third in his race (46.79sec).

In the heats of the men’s 400m hurdles LJ van Zyl went through to the final with a fast time after finishing third in his heat, his time recorded at 51.14sec.  PC Beneke finished third in his heat, but his 51.87sec was not fast enough to ensure him a spot in the final.  Van Zyl will be up against the fastest man in Africa this season Morton AMECHI (NGR), Kurt Couto from Mozambique and Mamadou Kasse Hanne (SEN), all of which has clocked faster times this season.

Lynique Prinsloo and Janice Josephs both qualified for the final of the women’s long jump, while SA Long jump champion Patience Ntshingila was not as lucky. Prinsloo automatically qualified for the final with an opening jump of 6.34m while Josephs achieved her best jump of 6.15m in the second round.  Ntshingila fouled in the first two rounds and finished with 5.59m.

Tsholofelo Thipe and Estie Wittstock will line up in the final of the women’s 400m after clocking 52.51sec and 52.61sec in their semi-finals, ensuring they are in the final with fastest times.  Thipe is looking for 51.55sec in order to qualify for the Olympics and will be up against World Champion Amantle Montsho (BOT) amongst others in the final.

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