13 MAR 2004 General News 13 March 2004 – Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Kruger – 64.16 - in ABSA series, Port Elizabeth

Frantz Kruger (RSA) (Getty Images)Frantz Kruger (RSA) (Getty Images) © Copyright

Port Elizabeth, South AfricaOlympic bronze medallist Frantz Kruger qualified for the Athens Olympics at the fifth ABSA series Meeting held in the UPE Stadium in this Indian Ocean coastal city, yesterday.

Like many others who excelled at the meeting, Kruger put aside the setback of bad weather last week in eThekwini to achieve his best performance of the year. A massive effort on his last attempt, saw Kruger throw his discus a distance of 64.16 metres.

“At last my preparations for Athens are back on track. Now I want to repeat this performance at the Olympic trials next month. That will put me in good stead for the European track season,” confirmed Kruger.

Good steeplechase - series record

On the track, the distance races proved to be the most exciting events of the meeting. For the fifth time in the ABSA series this year, newcomer Reuben Ramolefi improved his career best. Surging to the lead with two laps to go, he won the 3000m steeplechase in a series record of 8:25.59.

In the process he pulled veteran Petrus Sithole (8:26.40) to better his career best by over six seconds. They where both inside the previous ABSA Series record set by Kenya’s Eliud Bargetuny ( 8:30.4) six years ago.

Several other athletes dipped below the nine minutes barrier. These were Sivuyile Dlongwana (8:41.32), Alphonse Primo (8:44.29), Moses Faku (8:46.53),  Mandla Maseko (8:46.87),  Anthony Godongwana (8:46.99), and Luyanda Tshangana  (8.57. 81) in that order. Five of the top eight finishers set career bests.

“I now realise that it is possible to achieve the Olympic A qualifying standard. We just have to push a little harder and by the grace of God we will make it next week,” said a delighted Ramolefi.

“Before the race we decided we were going to work as a team to achieve good times. That is why Tshangana led for the first 1000 metres before I took over. In Cape Town we want to qualify for the Olympics,” Sithole declared.

Leigh Julius sprinting well

The World Student Games 200m gold medallist, Leigh Julius, 18, continued his winning form on his home turf. A Physical Education student at the University of Port Elizabeth, Julius was first in both the 100m (10.54) and 200m (20.84). Returning to form, Janice Josephs equally dominated the women’s short sprints clocking 11.51 and 23.23 in the 100m and 200m respectively.

Comfortable win for Ramaala and Cloete

Lack of competition saw Hendrik Ramaala cost to a comfortable victory in the 10,000m in 28:35.36. Triple jumper Khotso Mokoena (16.38) was well inside the World Junior Championship qualifier.

World champion Hestrie Cloete (1.90) easily won the women’s the High Jump.

Perhaps the surprise of the day came in the women’s Discus where Elizna Naude achieve the Olympic B standard with a throw of 58.75. This is her best performance in two years.  “I feel strong and with an improved technique, I should exceed 61 metres within the next month or so,” she said.

Grand Men’s 1500m finale

The curtain came down at the meeting in fashionable style. Taking the lead in the 1500m Clyde Colenso opened a 20 metres gap at the bell with only Johan Cronje giving some serious chase. The spectators where brought to their feet as Cronje closed the gap on the home straight before edging Colenso at the finish to claim victory. Cronje clocked 3:40.41 to Colensos 3:40.86. Hezekiel Sepeng  was third in 3:43.99.

“I am glad be have recovered from the injury I sustained last year. All I want to do is to qualify for the Athens Olympics,” Cronje disclosed.  The series comes to an end next week at Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium

SELECTED RESULTS
Note: All athletes are South Africans unless otherwise mentioned OLY A denotes qualified for the Athens Olympics A Standard OLY B denotes qualified for the Athens Olympics B Standard WJC denotes qualified for the World Junior Championships
NJR denoted National Junior record
SR denotes ABSA Series record
PB denotes Personal best

MEN

100m A (0.0)
1 Leigh Julius 10.54
2 Lee-Roy Newton 10.58
3 Mathew Quinn 10.63

100m B (0.0)
1 Hendre van Heerden 10.90
2 Nolan Lottering 11.02
3 Ashwin van Heerden 11.14

200m (0.0)
1 Leigh Julius 20.84
2 Sherwin Vries 21.16
3 Marcus la Grange 21.18

400m A
1 Rob Daly (Ireland) 46.79
2 Salahealdin Bakkar (Qatar) 46.87
3 Arnauld Malherbe 47.13

400m B
1 Michael Denysschen 48.57
2 Ruan Grobler 48.81
3 Izzat Ateah (Qatar) 49.37

800m
1 Werner Botha 1:47.46
2 Shaun Abrahams 1:47.78
3 Mkuseli Nyongo 1:56.63

1500m
1  Johan Cronje 3:40.41
2 Clyde Colenso 3:40.86
3 Hezekiel Sepeng 3:43.99

3000m Steeplechase
1 Reuben Ramolefi 8:25.59 PB/OLY B
2  Petrus Sithole 8:26.40  PB/ OLY B
3 Sivuyile Dlongwana 8:41.32
4 Alphonse Primo 8:44.29 PB
5 Moses Faku 8:46.53 PB
6 Mandla Maseko 8:46.87
7 Anthony Godongwana 8:46.99
8 Luyanda Tshangana 8.57. 81 PB

10000m
1 Hendrik Ramaala 28:35.36
2 Zolani Bhitane 28:58.84
3 Thembelani Zola 29:05.22

Triple Jump
1 Khotso Mokoena 16.38 WJC
2 Simeon Mars 14.85
3 Kobus Vosloo 14.59

Discus
1 Frantz Kruger 64.16 OLY A
2 Johannes van Wyk 59.44
3 Stefan Joubert 52.08


WOMEN

100m (0.0)
1 Janice Josephs 11.51
2 Wendy Seegers 11.65
3 Dikeledi Moropane 11.88

200m (0.0)
1 Janice Josephs 23.23
2 Dikeledi Moropane 24.15
3 Isobel le Roux 24.94

400m
1 Heide Seyerling 52.93
2 Joanna Cuddihy (Ireland) 53.25
3 Elma Hugo 55.37

800m
1 Mari-Louise 2:03.07
2 Juanee Pekelharing 2:06.18
3  Claudia York 2:06.92

1500m
1 Rene Kalmer 4:17.44
2  Lisa van der Merwe 4:19.82
3 Lebogang Phalula 4:20.88

High Jump
1 Hestrie Cloete 1.90
2 Anika Smit 1.75
3 Dianie Wondergem 1.70

Discus
1 Elizna Naude 58.75 OLY B
2 Lizelle Duvenhage 51.28
3 Mariska van Zyl 48.43

Hammer
1 Lizel Roelofse 49.93
2 Marilize Coetzee 47.93
3 Fatima Maasdorp 33.87