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Record broken at SA Race walking Championships


Sandra Steenkamp sets SA Walk Record

Sandra Steenkamp sets SA Walk Record

The 51 year-old Sandra Steenkamp broke the South African record in the 50km walk on Saturday 8 October at the SA Race walking Championships.  The championships took place at the Youngsfield Military Base in Cape Town.

Steenkamp from Gauteng North dominated in the women’s 50km walk, looking very comfortable throughout the race, and finished more than 30 minutes ahead of her closest competitor.  She improved her own SA record (5:18.36) when she crossed the line in 5:17.55, with the same big smile on her face as she had throughout the race.  Teammate Elize van Eeden finished in 5:48.12 while Trudi Carstens took the bronze medal in 6:18.50.

This event was South Africa’s first ever IAAF approved Race Walking Championships and Olympic qualifier with international IAAF acclaimed judges.  These judges included the Chief Judge for the 2012 Olympic Games, Steven Taylor (UK), George Kariuki (Kenya) and Maris Petersen (RUS).  They all did a spectacular job and took time off afterwards to talk to athletes and give guidelines.

Marc Mundell (Gauteng North) and Ross McDonald (Western Province) initially walked together for the first 14km in the senior men’s 50km, which was an Olympic qualifying race.  McDonald passed Mundell and lead the race for the next 4km before Mundell changed it all again and took the lead.  The SA Record holder just continued walking and the chances of catching up became smaller as the laps went by.  Mundell finished the race in 4:22.14 with McDonald coming in 2nd in 5:06.38.  Siphiwe Mtshali from Central Gauteng took bronze, his time recorded at 5:33.16.

Lebogang Shange had a brilliant race and walked himself into 1st position in the 20km race for senior men.  This 21 year-old from Central Gauteng showed excellent technique throughout the race and finished in 1:27.31, ahead of teammate Pierre de Villiers with his time of 1:28.33.  Wayne Snyman (AGN) took bronze in 1:28.59.  All 3 athletes recorded personal bests in this event.

In the same distance for senior women, Michelle Hopkins (CGA) took gold in 1:54.34 while teammate Nomsa Buthelezi finished in 2:00.46 in 2nd position.  Third place went to Elmarie Bezuidenhout (EPA) in 2:01.27.

In the 10km junior men and women’s races Central Gauteng continued dominating with two gold medals, a silver and a bronze.  Inge Kotze (CNW) was just not fast enough and had to be satisfied as Rose Shabalala claimed the gold medal in 1:00.05.  Her time of 1:00.41 was just marginally slower but not good enough for gold.  Nthatisi Mokhele finished 3rd almost 10 minutes behind, her time 1:10.52.

Mfana Mbatha (CGA) completed the walk in 50:36, some 6 minutes ahead of Nkosinathi Kcokazi who finished in 56:37.  Asiphiwe Jafter took bronze in 1:05.08.

Elsa Meyer competed in the 20km race for Masters Women and clocked 2:04:14, a new SA Masters record.  In the team competition Central Gauteng Athletics won the team prize while Western Province athletics came second.  Gauteng North finished in 3rd position.

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