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Magakwe seeks four from four

Simon Magakwe

Simon Magakwe

Magakwe out to make it four from four as sprints amongst the big attractions at the Yellow Pages SA Senior Track and Field Championships

Three time SA 100m Champion, Simon Magakwe is looking for his fourth sprint title in as many years at the 2012 Yellow Pages SA Senior Track and Field Championship in Port Elizabeth from 13-14 April. He will not be the only one out defend his title in the sprints, as Carina Horn looks to retain her 100m and 200m title whilst the men’s 200m title is up for grabs with defending champion, Wayde van Niekerk not competing.



Magakwe is arguably the inform man after his dominant performance in Pretoria on 5 April when he clocked 10.15sec to set an Olympic A-Qualifier in his favourite event, the 100m. Twenty year old Gideon Trotter is, on paper, his biggest rival when clocked 10.29sec for a lifetime best in Germiston on 25 February. But Magakwe will ignore the likes of Leigh Julius (EP), Roscoe Engel (WP), Thuso Mpuang (FS) and Waide Jooste (CGA) at his peril. All are capable of challenging, if not even beating, Magakwe. Engel’s best came in the semi-final of the 2011 SA Championships when he clocked 10.19sec behind the 10.18sec of Magakwe. Leigh Julius is an experienced campaigner and in front of his home crowd will be hard to beat, whilst Waide Jooste showed his potential by winning the 100m SA U23 Title on 1 April.


With no Wayde van Niekerk in the mix for the 200m title, the mantle of favourite once again falls onto the shoulders of Simona Magakwe. The 26 year-old scorched to a season’s best of 20.38sec for the 200m at the Yellow Pages Series meet in Potchefstroom on 24 March for an Olympic A-qualifying standard. In the process he dragged Thuso Mpuang and Lebogang Moeng to personal bests and an Olympic A-Qualifier. On current form the medals will likely be decided by these three, however hometown boy Sergio Mullins favours the 200m over the shorter 100m.



If the men’s 100m has an out an out favourite, the women’s race promises to be wide open with 2011 champion Carina Horn (AGN) not in the same form as she was this time last year. Surprisingly it is 400m specialist Tshologelo Thipe (NWN) who heads the rankings this year with her 11.70sec win in Potchfstroom on 24 March. Horn’s best so fat is 11.78sec run in Pretoria on 17 March. Horn will have her work cut out for her as Melissa Hewitt (CNW) has run 11.73sec when she won the Yellow Pages SA U23 Title in Germiston on 1 April.

Other names to look out for are Samantha Pretorius (WP), Cindy Stewart (EP), Bernice Roman (WP) and Cherese Jones (AGN).


Carina Horn (AGN) won the double in 2011, winning both 100m and 200m titles. But like in the 100m this year, she will have to deal with an inform Tsholofelo Thipe who in Potchefstroom on 24 March ran a world leading 22.89sec for the 200m. Horn was a distant 4th in that race (23.61sec). The absence of Justine Palframan (KZN; 23.22sec, PB/WJL) will be sorely missed in the 200m so the biggest challenge to Thipe will come in the form of Sonja van der Merwe (WP 23.75sec), and a resurgent Isabelle le Roux (AGN, PB 22.69sec, 2010, SB 23.73sec). Van der Merwe and Melissa Hewitt will resume their rivalry in the 200m after they won Gold and Silver respectively at the U23 Championships this year.

The Yellow Pages SA Senior Championships will take place at the Xerox NMMU Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay. Proceedings on Friday will start at 09:15. The last event of the day will start at 17:00. The program on the final day will start at 06:30 with the last event at 17:25.

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