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Theron sets Olympic Standard

Wenda Theron

Wenda Theron

4 May 2012 – Wenda Theron dipped under the Olympic Qualifying A-standard time (55.50sec) in the women’s 400m hurdles after edging closer to the time in her last few races.  She won her heat in 55.37sec on the first day of the SA Open Championships at Pilditch Stadium in Pretoria.

The Tukkie athlete started the race at a very fast pace and lead from early on.  “I planned on reaching the time in the heats.  I felt great and the weather was perfect so I had to go for it,” said Theron after the race.

“For me it is more important to reach the qualifying time than to win the SA Open Championships, but I have to learn to run two hard races subsequently because that is how they do it at big international events.”

On 14 April at the SA Senior Championships in Port Elizabeth Theron came very close to the required time when she dipped under 56sec for the first time in her career, winning the race in 55.79sec, but everything just played in Theron’s favour today with the happiness clearly visible on her face after the race.  Oarabile Babolai (BOT) and Tasabih Elsayed (SUD) also went through to the final taking place on 5 May at 11:15, their times 58.92sec and 59.78sec respectively.


The 23 year-old will now have to reach the standard again at an international meeting in order to meet SASCOC and Athletics South Africa’s Olympic Qualifying requirements.  “I have a couple of races lined up at the end of May overseas and there is also the Africa Senior Championships in Benin.


The excitement of an athlete dipping under 10sec in the future has been widely debated after Simon Magakwe equalled the SA 100m record of 10.06sec at the SA Student Championships on 27 April.  Magakwe went through to the final in his race and won in 10.18sec, again reaching the Olympic Qualifying A-standard time of 10.18sec for the fourth time in the last month. 

Zarck Visser (UJ) improved his personal best set up at the SA Student Championships (8.11m) with a leap of 8.15m in the second round of the men’s long jump, just 5cm short of the Olympic Qualifying A-standard.  Andreas Coetzee (Tuks) won silver with a 7.59m attempt in the fifth round while teammate Ernst Hattingh finished third with 7.39m.

Tsholofelo Thipe (Puk) reached the A-standard (51.55sec) in the women’s 400m on 5 April for the first time when she recorded 51.52sec and today Thipe improved her time to 51.47sec, winning silver behind Tjipekapora Herunga (NAM) who won the race in 51.24sec.  Estie Wittstock (Tuks) clocked 52.69sec to finish third.

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