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Mixed fortunes for SA athletes

Johan Cronje in Dessau, Germany

Johan Cronje in Dessau, Germany

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for South African athletes looking to qualify for the London Olympics, as two A-Qualifiers were run and two National Records were threatened.

Johan Cronje set the tone of the weekend by running 3:35.33 in the men’s 1500m in Dessau, Germany on Friday 25 May for his first Olympic A-Qualifier of the season.

In Ostrava at the Golden Spike Meeting on Friday 25 May, Elroy Gelant finished 6th in the men’s 3000m with a personal best of 7:41.38 That time is .32sec off the National Record of Juan van Deventer. Caster Semenya finished 2nd in the women’s 800m in 2:00.80 and Sunette Viljoen threw a seasons best 61.84m for 5th in the women’s javelin.

Bad luck for Simon Magakwe as he false started in the men’s 100m and Oscar Pistorius was 8th in the men’s 400m in 47.66sec. Thuso Mpuang had to settle for 7th on the men’s 200m in 20.95sec and Tsholofelo Thipe was 4th in 23.40sec in the women’s 200m.

Nolene Conrad came within .23sec of the SA Record in the women’s 3000m steeplechase when she clocked 9:54.42 in Oordegem, Belgium on Saturday 26 May.

On Sunday 27 May, Andre Oliver took .2sec off his personal best to clock 1:45.20 in the men’s 800m in Hengelo at the FBK Games. Despite finishing 7th, Olivier notched up his first Olympic A-Qualifier in the 800m. The plucky youngster was disappointed as he felt he had run a tactical poor race and could have dipped under 1:45.

In the same meeting Juan van Deventer missed out on his first Olympic A-Qualifier by finishing the men’s 1500m in 3:35.55; a mere 5/100th off the required time. This was only his second race after a car had hit him whilst out training in mid 2011.

In Rabat on Sunday 27 May, Simon Magakwe was 5th in the 100m men at the 5e  Meeting International Mohammed VI. Magakwe ran 10.49sec. The race was won by Justin Gatlin in 10.12sec.

image credit: Dean Brummer

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