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Germiston Middle Distance Preview

Yellow Pages Interprovincial middle distance preview

Pieter van der Westhuizen

Pieter van der Westhuizen

Cracking line-ups in men’s 800m and 1500m for Yellow Pages Interprovincial

Saturday’s Yellow Pages Interprovincial at Germiston should deliver some strong middle distance racing in particular the men’s field as the 800m and 1500m are packed with top class athletes.

Men

800m
Amongst the entries in the men’s 800m are SA Junior Champion Rynhardt van Rensburg (FS), front runner Tlou Seloba (CGA), Molefe Molefe (CGA) and Pieter van der Westhuizen (CGA) who surprisingly is not competing in the 1500m. Van Rensburg’s best of 1:48;87 run in Durban last year is worth 1061 points on the IAAF points table. The 19 year-old recently competed in the Yellow Pages Summer Series where he clocked a personal best of 1:19;40 for the 600m in Parow on 17 December. Van Rensburg’s team mate William Mothosola whose PB of 1:47 is worth 1113 points, should help him in the race to accumulate as many points as possible for the Free State.

Central Gauteng will feel confident of maximizing points as they field Pieter van der Westhuizen, Molefe Molefe and Thapelo Madiba. Van der Westhuizen is better known as a 1500m runner with a best of 3:35;33 run in New York in 2009 and the highest expectations will lie on the shoulders of Tlou Seloba who has become well known for his aggressive running style, taking the race to the field and challenging them to hang on. Seloba’s best is a 1:47;65 run in Durban in 2011. But the 26 year-old is confident he will open the season with a 1:46 high which could see him earn around 1114 points for his province.

1500m
There is no doubt that men’s 1500m race is a loaded one and one that will be one of the major highlights of Saturday’s meeting. Steven Mokoka (GN), Tshamano Setone (CGA), Dean Brummer (ACNW) and Folavio Sehole (AMPU) are probably the favourites in this line up which also includes Rynhardt van Rensburg (FS), Marco Bucarizza (CGA) Abenigo Mashaba (AMPU) and William Mothosola (FS).

The two Free Staters could find the going a bit tough after having raced an 800m at 13h30 and then lining up in the 1500m at 16h00. The rest of the field will be on fresh legs.

Mokoka’s best of 3:38;55 would earn him 1126 points, but the Gauteng North athlete has been clocking a lot of mileage lately in his preparations for the London Olympics where he has qualified for the marathon. Setone has a best of 3:38.29, which he ran in 2009 and has raced sparingly over the 1500m, his focus being more on the 5000m. He is however a strong 1500m/mile athlete, testament to that is his unbeaten streak in the mile in the 2010 Yellow Pages Summer Series where he won in PE, Oudtshoorn (also the street mile) and in Stellenbosch.

Dean Brummer is fresh from his 5th place finish at the SA Cross Country trial in Potchefstroom on Saturday 18 February and boasts a best of 3:45.77, which he ran in Bellville in 2011. The son of the famous Deon Brummer (a multiple sub 4 minute miler in his day), has shown his ability to be a fighter and will make the going tough on the day. Sehole’s boasts a best of 3:45;10 and his provincial teammate, Abenigo Mashaba’s best of 3:45;5 means that the two running together could pick up a number of points for their province, having the advantage of having two athletes in the race.

Women

800m
Central Gauteng’s Mapaseka Makhanya should line up as the favourite in this race. Makhanya is looking for a time of around 2:03 or 2:04 which would earn the province between 1083 and 1100 points. Makhanya has focused her whole season on qualifying for the Olympic Games and is unlikely to be troubled by the rest of the field who average around 2:12.

1500m
The 1500m is likely to be a much closer affair with CGA once again fielding the strongest team. Christine Kalmer, Nolene Conrad and Maxine Heine-Wacker come into the field with an average time of 4:32. Kalmer’s entry time is 4:31.1, Conrad’s 4:32.2 and Heine-Wacker is 4:33.

It is by no means an open and shut race though as Gauteng North have entered Violet Raseboya who boasts a best of 4:16.12, which she ran in Durban in April in 2011.

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