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The results speak for themselves

Ruben Ramolefi - SteepleChase Record

Ruben Ramolefi - SteepleChase Record

Athletics has gone through a tough two-year period with many events taking place away from the field of play. Yet the winds of change blew into the sport at the end of 2010 and the results are clearly showing. There is a newfound enthusiasm amongst athletes and administrators alike and that is born out by the 10 new national records set in 2011 and a further 6 since mid 2010.

“To be able to approve 16 new national records in the space of 18 months, really shows that the sport has turned the page and the focus has shifted to where it should be – out of the corridors of the office and onto the athletics track,” said James Evans, President of Athletics South Africa.

Amongst the records to fall were the 12 year-old 4x400m men’s relay record at the World Championships in Deagu in August this year as well as the women’s javelin record.

29 August the quartet of Oscar Pistorius, Willie de Beer, Shane Victor and Ofentse Mogawane shaved almost a second off the record of Jopie van Oudtshoorn, Hendrik Mokganyetsi, Adriaan Botha and Arnaud Malherbe set at the 1999 World Athletics Championships in Seville, Spain. The previous record stood at 3:00.20. Pistorius, de Beer, Victor and Mogawane were clocked at 2:59.21 in the heats of the 4x400m relays of the 2011 World Championships to not only qualify for the finals, but also be the first South African quartet to break 3minutes and in the process set a new South African record.

Sunette Viljoen entered new territory in 2011. She improved the previous SA Record of Justine Robbeson of 63.49m (Potchefstroom 16 February 2008) to 66.38m in Prague on 14 June, 2010 before defending her World University Games title in Shenzhen, China with a throw of 66.47m (18 August, 2011).  She then went on to win the Bronze Medal at the World Championships in Deagu on 2 September this year, with a throw of 68.38m.

LJ van Zyl also moved from a world class athlete to a championship athlete when he broke Llewellyn Herbert’s 11 year old record in the 400m hurdles on 25 February this year at the Yellow Pages Meeting in Pretoria. Van Zyl clocked 47.66sec for the fastest time in the World this year. What made his 2011 even more impressive was the fact that he equaled that time again in May in Prague and ran a further two sub 48 second clockings’ before winning the Bronze Medal at the World Championships later in the year.

Ruben Ramolefi accounted for the fourth senior record of the year when he broke his own 3000m Steeplechase record during the heats at the World Championships in Deagu on 29 August.  His time was 8:11.50.

However, what is really noticeable is the amount of Junior and Youth Records set in the last 18 months. Of the 16 records set, 3 were set by Juniors and 7 by Youth athletes.

Amongst the more notable ones is the SA Junior long jump record of 8.19m set by Luvo Manyonga in Bottrop, Germany on 10 July, 2010.

Gert Swanepoel broke the Junior decathlon record twice in the last two years. In Germiston on 10 and 11 April at the Yellow Pages SA Junior Championships, Swanepoel amassed 6755 points. Just over 2 months later he became the first Junior in South Africa to ever go over the 7000 points total with a whopping 7380 points at the Combined events championship in Potchefstroom on 25 and 26 June.

Morne Moolman was able to send the javelin 2m further than the previous SA Youth Record of Robert Oosthuizen (81.07) when he sent the spear to 83.16m in the heats of the World Youth Championships in Lille, France on 9 July.  The throw was also a World Youth Championships record.  Gerhard de Beer broke Jacques du Plessis’ discus record with his 67.44m at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Isle of Man on 10 September this year. Du Plessis had broken Fritz Potgieter’s 19 year-old record of 63.46m with his throw of 63.94m in Singapore on 21 August, 2010.

The Youth athletes also followed in the footsteps of their senior colleagues by setting relay records during 2011.  At the World Youth Championships in Lille, the girls team of Liezl Hechter, Phillipa van der Merwe, Stephanie Wicksell and Izelle Neuhoff set a new 1000m Medley Relay record of 2:10.48, bettering the old record of 2:11.07 set in 2002.  Their male colleagues (Bradley Britz, Pieter Conradie, Constant Pretorius and Andries van der Merwe) ran 41.00 in the 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Youth Games on the Isle of Man on 11 September (bettering the previous record set 25 years ago on 5 April 1986).

New SA Records Approved

Senior Women – Javelin Throw (600g):
Old Record – 63.49m – Justine Robbeson (Potchefstroom) – 16 February 2008

New Record:

1.1          66.38m – Sunette Viljoen – Prague, Czech Republic – 14 June 2010
1.2          68,38m – Sunette Viljoen – Daegue, South Korea – 02 September 2011

(Also Africa Record)

2.            Senior Men – 400m Hurdles:

Old Record – 47.81 – Llewellyn Herbert (Sydney, Australia – 27 September 2000)

New Record:

2.1          47.66 – LJ van Zyl – Pretoria – 25 February 2011

2.2          47.66 – LJ van Zyl – Ostrava, Czech Republic – 31 May 2011

3.            Senior Men – 3000m Steeple Chase:

Old Record – 8:11.63 – Ruben Ramolefi (Monaco – 28 July 2009)

New Record:

8:11.50 – Ruben Ramolefi – Daegue, South Korea – 29 Augustus 2011

4.            Senior Men – 4*400m Relay:

Old record – 3:00.20 –    Jopie van Oudtshoorn – Seville, Spain – 29 Augustus 1999
Hendrick Mokganyetsi
Adriaan Botha
Arnaud Malherbe

New record:

2:59.21 –               Oscar Pistorius – Daegue, South Korea – 01 September 2011
Willie de Beer
Shane Victor
Ofentse Magawane

5.            Junior Men – Long Jump:

Old record – 8.09m (+0.7m/s) – Godfrey Mokoena – Grosseto, Italy – 14 July 2004

New record:

8.19m (+1.5m/s) – Luvo Manyonga – Bottrop, Germany – 10 July 2010

6.            Junior Men 110 meters Hurdles:

Old Record – 13.73 (+1.2m/s) – Louw Smit – Pretoria – 13 April 2007

New Record:

13.71 (+1.0m/s) – Tshepo Lefete – Germiston – 3 April 2011

7.            Junior Men – Decathlon:

Old Record – 6755 points – Gert Swanepoel – Germiston – 10 & 11 April 2010

New Record:

7380 points – Gert Swanepoel – Potshefstroom – 25 & 26 June 2010

8.            Youth Girls – 1000 meters:

New record for this event

New Record:

2:52.65 – Thato Makafola – Singapore – 23 August 2010

9.            Youth Girls – 400 meters:

Old Record – 53.20 – Yolandi Venter – Bloemfontein – 08 April 1994

New Record:

52.88 – Justine Palframan – Manzini, Swaziland – 17 December 2010

10.          Youth Girls – 1000 meters Medley Relay:

Old Record – 2:11.07 –    Cindy Stewart –                 Caen, France – 02 June 2002
Justine Robbeson
Chantelle Terblanche
Tihanna Vorster

New Record:

2:10.48 –               Liezl Hechter –                   Lille, France – 09 July 2011
Philippa van der Merwe
Stephanie Wicksell
Izelle Neuhoff

11.          Youth Boys – Discus Throw (1.5kg):

Old Record – 63.46 – Frits Potgieter – Silverton – 18 October 1991

New Record:

11.1        63.94m – Jacques du Plessis – Singapore – 21 August 2010

11.2        67.44m – Gerhard de Beer – Douglas, Isle of Man – 10 September 2011

12.          Youth Boys – Javelin Throw (700g):

Old Record – 81.07m – Robert Oosthuizen – Sherbvrooke, Canada – 11 July 2003

New Record:

83.16m –Morne Moolman – Lille, France – 9 July 2011

(Also World Youth Championship Record)

13.          Youth Boys – 4*100 meters Relay:

Old Record – 41.55 –        Jannie Viljoen –                 Bloemfoentein – 05 April 1986
Ockert Coetzee
Werner van Aswegen
Stanley Mogorosi

New Record:

41:00 –                   Bradley Britz –                    Douglas, Isle of Man – 11 September 2011
Pieter Conradie
Constant Pretorius
Andries van der Merwe

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