Chris Harmse competing at the 2005 South African Championships (Mark Ouma) © Copyright
General News eThekwini (Durban), South Africa

African record for Harmse – South African Championships, Day One

Hammer thrower Chris Harmse set an Africa record on the opening day of the ABSA South African Track and Field Championships in Kings Park Stadium on Friday (15 April), with the eyes of the nation’s athletes focused firmly on qualifying for this summer’s World Chmapionships in Helsinki, Finland.

No religious barriers for Harmse

Harmse broke grounds with a second round effort of 80.63m in the men’s Hammer Throw. This is 37 centimetres better than the previous Africa record he set last year. "I have kept my promise of surpassing 80 metres during our domestic season. This is an indication that my training for the World championships in Helsinki, is on track," says Harmse.

He is delighted that the hammer event is not being contested on a Sunday as that goes against his religious conviction.  "This time the hammer event is on a Saturday and Monday and so I really want to make up for missing two Olympics, two World championships, and a Commonwealth Games. Since medals at the World championships are (sometimes) won with throws of just under 80 metres, this could place me in the medal bracket in Helsinki. Therefore I want to throw over 80 metres consistently before the world championships," declared Harmse.

Mokoena - Looking for records

Elsewhere, there were mixed feelings for long jumper Khotso Mokoena after winning the event with an 8.26m effort. Martin McClintock (8.25) and Yaw Fosu-Amoah (7.64) were second and third respectively.

“I am glad that I have jumped further than my (8.12) than ever before. Unfortunately, since there tail win (+2.2) was above the legal limit, I will have to wait for another day to better the senior national record (8.21) Because of the strong tail wind, I decided to call it a day after the fourth jump. I hope I will have better luck in the Triple Jump tomorrow (Saturday),” said Mokoena, who is the World Junior Triple Jump champion.

Seyerling recaptures past form – 51.48 win in 400m

Meanwhile on the track, the Sydney Olympic 400m finalist Heide Seyerling showed signs of regaining previous form when she won the one lap race in
51.48. Estie Wittstock (52.21) was runner up, ahead of Adri Schoeman (53.31). “Having qualified for Helsinki, my next objective is to run under 51 seconds,” said Seyerling.

Other notable performances came in the Shot Put where Janus Robberts won the contest with a heave of 19.89m, while in the women’s event Marli Knoetze (16.30), held off her fellow teenager Simone du Toit (16.04) to clinch the gold medal. A lot of exciting competition is in store today (Saturday) as most athletes ran conservatively to save their energy for the finals.

Mark Ouma for the IAAF

Note: AFR denotes an Africa record.
HEL A denotes achieved qualifier for World Championships Helsinki A Standard HEL B denotes achieved qualifier for World Championships Helsinki B Standard PB denotes Personal best

Finals only


1 Coolboy Ngamole 28:55.61
2 Teddy Hutamo 28:59.64
3 Mbongeni Ngxazozo 29:01.21

Long Jump
1 Khotso Mokoena 8.26 (+2.2) PB
2 Martin McClintock 8.25 (+3.3) PB
3 Yaw Fosu-Amoah 7.64 (+3.0)

Pole Vault
1 Okkert Brits 5.20
2 Fanie Jacobs 5.20
3 Brent Howell 4.80

Shot Put
1 Janus Robberts 19.89
2 Burger Lambrechts 18.24
3 Roelie Potgieter 16.99

1 Chris Harmse 80.63 HEL A/ PB/AFR
2 Werner Smit 68.40
3 Kristiaan Bekker 59.16


1 Heide Seyerling 51.48 HEL A
2 Estie Wittstock 52.21  HEL B
3 Adri Schoeman 53.31

1 Poppy Mlambo 16:10.92
2 Ronel Thomas 16:19.49
3 Irevette van Blerk 16:11.41

Long Jump
1 Janice Josephs 6.38 (+5.1)
2 Justin Robbeson 6.24 (+5.2)
3 Karin Mey 6.23 (+2.3)

Pole Vault
1 Lindi Roux 4.02 PB
2 Annelie van Wyk 3.92
3 Samantha Dodd 3.92

Shot Put
1 Marli Knoetze 16.30
2 Simone du Toit 16.04
3 Elene Taljaard 13.01

1 Marilize Coetzee 50.43
2 Tanya Treurnicht 48.26
3 Karin Snyman 47.22