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Semenya, Mulaudzi at Pretoria Yellow Pages III

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi seeks Olympic Standard

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi seeks Olympic Standard

The Yellow Pages Series III meeting at Tukkkies on Friday 20 April sees two former World Champions line up in search of an Olympic berth. After successfully defending her 800m title at the Yellow Pages SA Senior Track and Field Championships in Port Elizabeth on 14 April, Caster Semenya can now turn her attention to running her second Olympic A Qualifyer in Pretoria on 20 April at the Yellow Pages Series III meeting.

Semenya, the 2009 World Champion and 2011 silver medalist, needs to run 1:59.90 in order to secure her spot in the team for the London Olympics after having run the first of the record qualifiers in Daegu, South Korea at the World Championships in 2011.  If the 21 year-old World Championships silver medallist reaches the time she will join the list with LJ van Zyl, Cornel Fredericks (400m hurdles Sunette Viljoen (javelin throw) and Willem Coertzen (Decathlon).

Semenya will have the advantage of her home track as well as Herunga Tjipekapora (NAM) who will run as a pacemaker in order to assist Semenya with a fast time.  “I think she will do better on Friday.  Our preparations and training have been going according to plan and she will also have a pacer to assist,” said Maria Mutola, Semenya’s coach.

Other athletes in the race include Mandie Brandt, Thato Makhafola, Anuschka Nice and Mapaseka Makhanya.  Brandt and Makhafola both ran personal bests in Port Elizabeth crossing the line in 2:04.36 and 2:05.78 respectively.

Whilst Semenya needs only the one qualifier, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi is still looking for his first. The 2009 World Champion missed out on defending his title in 2011 due to an achilles injury which saw him stay off the track for 10 months. Mulaudzi needs to run 1:45.60 in the men’s 800m in order to reach the Olympic Qualifying A-standard and will then have to repeat the performance again at an international meeting.  In only his second race back from injury, Mulaudzi clocked 1:45.78 in defending his national title in Port Elizabeth on Saturday 14 April.  On Friday Mulaudzi will have Florent Lacasse (Fra), Armand Gawaseb and Daniel Nghipandula, both from Namibia to push him to a fast time.  Thapelo Madiba, Tlou Selobe and Samson Ngoepe are some of the local athletes competing at Yellow Pages III.

Should Mulaudzi or Semenya reach the A-standard this Friday they will also be in contention for the Yellow Pages Pot of Gold where the R100 000 prize money will be divided amongst those athletes that have reached the A-standard in their events at Yellow Pages meetings.

The event will take place at the ABSA Tuks Stadium starting at 17:00 with the last event taking place at 21:05. Tickets are selling at for R25 for adults and R15 for children via Tickets will also be available at the gate and over the phone (086 1000 291).

The person selling the most tickets for the event will stand a chance to win R5000.

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