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Mokoena Qualifies and Thipe misses

Mokoena qualifies for Olympics

Khotso Mokoena - Lon Jump

Khotso Mokoena - Lon Jump

1 June 2012 – Khotso Mokoena qualified for the Olympic Games after equalling the required distance of 8.20m in the final round of the men’s long jump at the third leg of the Samsung Diamond league in Rome yesterday.

Mokoena achieved his first qualifier in Pretoria at Yellow Pages III on 20 April with a jump of 8.29m and required another A-standard as per the agreement between Athletics South Africa and SASCOC.  Mokoena opened with 7.84m followed by 7.77m and then a foul in the third round put Mokoena in the third place.  The fourth and fifth round saw the 27-year-old Olympic silver medallist come back with 8.13 and 8.07m, but Mokoena gave everything in the final round and finished with a leap of 8.20m to finish second.  Greg Rutherford (GBR) won with 8.32m.

Mokoena now joins LJ van Zyl (400h), Cornel Fredericks (400h), Sunette Viljoen (javelin), Willem Coertzen (decathlon), Caster Semenya (800m) and Marc Mundell (50km race walk) as track and field athletes who have qualified for the Olympics.

Sunette Viljoen is getting back on form after having struggled with a niggling back injury.  Viljoen qualified for the Olympics in the javelin throw on 14 April at the SA Senior Championships in Port Elizabeth with 61.15m and has constantly been throwing around the 61m mark throughout the season.  Yesterday in Rome Viljoen changed that with 63.64 in the fourth round and 64.13 in the fifth.  However, it was Viljoen’s 67.96m in the final round, which put her in second position, ahead of Goldie Sayers (GBR), indicating that Viljoen is getting back on form. She is edging closer to the 68.38m Africa and SA Record distance that won her bronze in Daegu at the World Championships.  Sayers finished third with a best attempt of 64.73m while the Olympic champion, Barbora Spotakova (CZE), won with a world leading distance of 68.65m.

Cornel Fredericks finished third in the men’s 400m behind World Championships silver medallist, Javier Culson (PUR), and Bershawn Jackson (USA).  Culson won the race in 48.14 while Jackson clocked 48.25sec, ahead of Fredericks’s 49.21sec.  LJ van Zyl finished 8th in 50.33sec.

Caster Semenya finished 8th in the women’s 800m in 2:00.07.  The Ethiopian, Fantu Magiso, won the race in 1:57.56.  2008 Olympic Champion, Pamela Jelimo, finished second, clocking 1:85.33 with Mariya Savinova third in 1:58.56.

Ruben Ramolefi is still trying to reach 8:23.10 in order to qualify for the Olympics after clocking 8:30.41 in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, finishing 14th.  The race was won by Paul Kipsiele Keoch (KEN) with a new meeting record and world leading time of 7:54.31.

In the 100m for men Usain Bolt won the race in only 9.76sec, setting up a meeting record and his best performance of the season.  South Africa’s Simon Magakwe finished 9th in 10.33sec.

Thipe wins in Marseille; missed qualifier

31 May 2012 –Tsholefelo Thipe won the women’s 400m at the Meet de Marseille in France last night, clocking 51.79sec, just slower than the 51.55sec required to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Thipe won the race ahead of French athlete, Muriel Hurtis, who finished the race in 52.53sec.  Rorisang Rammonye clocked 53.25sec for a third place finish. The 25-year-old Thipe originally achieved qualifying standards on two different occasions on local soil clocking 51.52sec (Pretoria, 5 April) and 51.47sec (Pretoria, 5 May) but still needs one qualifier at an international meeting.

In a tactical 1500m race, Johan Cronje and Juan van Deventer finished second and third respectively, just slower than the 3:35.50 Olympic qualifying A-standard time. Abiyote Abinet (ETH) won the race in 3:36.72 with Cronje right on his heels clocking 3:36.83. Van Deventer, in his third race of the season, finished less than two seconds later in 3:38.81. Cronje has run one qualifying time already and requires one more in order to qualify for the Olympics, while Van Deventer is still looking for his first.

The same fate awaited the SA 400m champion Ofentse Mogawane who is still looking for his very first qualifier. Mogawane needed to clocked 45.30sec, but finished third in a time of 45.97sec behind Teddy Atine-Venel (FRA) and Jonathan Borlee from Belgium who clocked 45.30sec and 45.62sec respectively.

In a very close men’s 200m race, Thuso Mpuang had to be satisfied with second place behind Frenchman, Ronald Pognon. Mpuang, looking for a 20.55sec Olympic qualifying time, clocked 21.01sec. Pognon’s winning time was 21sec. Jeffrey John (FRA) finished third in 21.07 followed by South Africa’s Hannes Dreyer (21.16sec) and Waide Jooste (21.33sec).

The South African 110m hurdler, Ruan de Vries, clocked 13.99sec to finish fifth. Lyes Mokddel (ALG) won the race in 13.76sec with two French athletes, Thomas Martinot Lagarde and Damien Broothaerts, finishing second and third. Lagarde clocked 13.86sec and Broothaerts finished in 13.93sec.

Janice Josephs finished fourth in the women’s long jump with 6.12m. The winning distance was 6.39m by Great Britain’s Abigail Irozuru. In the same event for men, Zarck Visser won with 7.95m while Matthew Burton (GBR) finished second with 7.65m

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