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Botha and Herbert sparkle in Pretoria

Botha and Herbert sparkle in Pretoria
By Mark Ouma

South Africans Johan Botha and Llewellyn Herbert, Paolo dal Soglio (Italy) and 400m hurdler Judith Szekeres (Hungary) bettered the qualifying standards for the World Championships in Seville at a top class ABSA meeting in Pretoria, South Africa.

Sparkling performances by a host of senior and junior athletes was matched by the efficient and professional manner in which the second (in a series of six) ABSA track and field meeting was staged at the Pilditch Stadium.

The men’s 800m got underway at a cracking pace with South Africa’s Robbie Stevens reaching the 500m mark in 65 seconds before dropping out of the race. Taking advantage of the blistering pace, Botha  the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, powered his way to win in 1 minute 44.97 seconds (1:44.97). This was well inside Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) stringent qualifying standard of 1.45.60.

Botha was all smiles after his feat "My aim today was to qualify. I have achieved this purely on endurance. I will spend February competing on the European indoor circuit before returning to South Africa in March for the Engen summer series,’ said Botha.

Kenyan-born Wilson Kirwa (now a citizen of Finland), was runner up in 1.45.96 with Gideon van Oudtshoorn (South Africa) third in 1.47.65. Fourth placed Mandla Nkosi,16, set a new South African under-17 boys 800m record when he crossed the finishing line in 1:47.67.

Nkosi’ record setting effort not only an improvement on his previous personal best of 1:49.87, but also erased the old record of 1:48.43 set by Clyde Colenso in 1994. In addition, he is well inside the qualifying mark of 1:50.66 for the inaugural IAAF World Youth Championships that will be staged in Bydgoszcz, Poland from July 16-18.

Cheered on by his compatriots from Pretoria Technikon, Llewellyn Herbert, the World Championship silver medallist and World Student Champion posted a comfortable victory in the men’s 400m hurdles in a time of 48.63 (inside the ASA qualifier of 49.30).

Italian Paolo dal Soglio got the better of the Commonwealth champion Burger Lambrechts (South Africa), winning the mens shot put with a heave of 20.41. Lambrechts who was competing in his hometown consoled his fans with a 19.70 effort which is the qualifier for Spain. Countryman Cor Booysen was third in 19.03.

In her first attempt at her speciality, Judith Szekeres hit the qualifier for Spain (56.14) in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 55.81 second. Tatyana Tereschuck (Ukraine) and Surita Febbraio (South Africa) were second and third in times of 56.24 and 56.50 respectively.

Other qualifiers for Spain include Slovakian 110m hurdler Igor Kovac (13.69), South Africa’s World Cup discus bronze medallist  Frantz Kruger (64.66) and women’s javelin thrower Nikola Tomeckova (Czech Republic) 60.23 (with the newly modified implement).

Two more South African juniors qualified for the World Youth Championships: Running barefoot, 15 year old schoolgirl, Linda Roets won the women’s 3000m in a personal best of 9.23.5. Her winning time was well inside the qualifier of 9.37.05 for the World Youth Championships.

Tshepo Thobalangope, 16, was third in the men’s 400m in 46,46 seconds. The qualifier for Poland is 47.50. Besides improving his personal best of 47.19, Thobelangope is now the third fastest South African under-17 ever after Riaan Dempers (45.15 ) and Moses Mabaso (46.35).

Although Wendy Hartman and Heide Seyerling are inside the IAAF qualifier of 23.20 in the women’s 200m, they are short of the ASA qualifier of 22.94. Hartman has already qualified having run 22.92 last week.

ABSA Track and Field Athletics Series Meetings, Pilditch Stadium, Pretoria.

Leading Results

1. All athletes are South Africans except where mentioned
2. In the events where the standard was quite high   the results of more than three athletes have been given.


100m:1. Matthew Quinn 10.35, 2.Morne Nagel 10.36, 3. Lawrence Nkosi 10.44, 4. Jean Francois Ngapout (Cameroon) 10.51, 5. Shaun Powell 10.69, 200m:1. Erik Wijmeersch (Belgium) 20.88, 2. Morne Nagel 20.89, 3. Matthew Quinn 21.12, 4. Marcus la Grange 21.15, 5. Martin Morkes (Czech Republic) 21.20, 6. Lee-Roy Newton 21.30, 7. Tonie Tollig 21.60, 8. Antony Jarrett (Great Britain) 22.07, 400m:1. Jopie van Oudtshoorn 45.64, 2. Arnaud Malherbe 45.79, 3. Tshepo Thobelangope 46.46, 4. Jan Podebradsky (Czech Republic) 46.57, 5. Adriaan Botha 46,62, 6. Lukas Richter 46.70,7. Mark van Soest 47.20, 400m (b) 1. Louis Rehrl 46.74, 2.Louis Malherbe 47.28, 3. Stephen Marnewick 47.93, 110m hurdles: 1. Igor Kovac (Slovakia) 13.69, 2.Shaun Bownes 13.93, 3. Sven Pieter (Belgium) 14.02, 400m hurdles: 1. Llewellyn Herberts 48.65, 2. Mario Torien 50.38, 3. Hennie Botha 50.63, 4. Eglis Tebelis (Latvia) 50.66, 5. Jiri Musik (Czech Republic) 50.91, 800m:1.Johan Botha 1.44.97, 2. Wilson Kirwa (Finland) 1.45.96, 3. Gideon van Oudtshoorn 1.47.65, 4. Mandla Nkosi 1.47.67, 5. Christo Boshoff 1.47.72, 1500m: 1. Aaron Gabonewe 3.44.84, 2. Enos Matalane 3.45.19, 3. Deon Joubert 3.46.58, 4. Alister Cragg 3.46.74, 5.Francois van Rensburg 3.47.68, 6. Sam Mlangeni 3.47.79, 3000m: 1. Vincent Kutoane 8.22.54, 2.George Mofokeng 8.25.54, 3. Emil de Jonge 8.26.42, Long Jump: 1. Eriick Nijs (Belgium) 7.68, 2.Victor Shabangu (Swaziland) 6.97, 3. Charie Strohmeyer 6.82, High Jump: 1. Fana Mtshatsheni 2.15, 2. Gavin Lendis 2.15, 3. Francois Potgieter 2.10, Pole Vault:1. Okkert Brits 5.50, 2. Riaan Botha 5.40, 3.Fanie Jacobs 5.00, Shot Put: 1. Paolo dal Soglio (Italy) 20.41, 2. Burger Lambrechts 19.70, 3.Cor Booysen 19.03, Discus: 1.Frantz Kruger 64.66, 2.Alexandr Borischevski (Russia) 61.14, 3. Frits Potgeiter 60.02,


100m: 1. Susanna Johansson 11.85, 2. Cindy Koekemoer 12.00, 3. Tracy Olivier 12.01, 100m (b) Joanne Jordaan 11.7 (manual time), 200m: 1.Wendy Hartman 22.98, 2.Heide Seyerling 23.12, 3. Susanna Johansson 23.63, 100m hurdles : 1.Corien Botha 13.56, 2. 2. Merize Theron 14.00, 3. Arnell Jacob 14.08, 400m hurdles: 1. Judith Szekeres (Hungary) 55.81, 2. Tatyana Tereschuck (Ukraine) 56.24, 3. Surita Febbraio 56.50, 800m: 1. Mari-Louis Henning 2.02.21, 2. Lwiza John (Tanzania) 2.04.22, 3. Marina Anisimova (Russia) 2.04.78 , 4. Julia Sakara (Zimbabwe) 2.05.59, 3000m: 1. Linda Roet 9.23.5, 2. Carlien Cornelissen 9.24.6, 3. Truzanne Swanepoel 9.25.6, Long Jump:1. Valentina Gotovska (Latvia) 6.28, 2. Charlene Lawrence 6.10, 3. Liesel Heyneke 6.04, Triple Jump: 1.Gundega Sproge (Latvia) 13.98., 2. Virge Naeris (Estonia) 13.71, 3.Charmaine Barnard 12.61, High jump:1. Hestrie Storbeck-Cloete 1.90, 2. Yolandi van der Merwe 1.70, 3. Lizele Becker 1.65, Pole vault: 1. Rika Erasmus 3.50, 2. Ida-Mari Ehlers 3.40, 3. Suzaan Visser 3.00, Discus: Elizna Naude 52.29, 2. Lezelle Duvenhage 49.33, 3. Nkiru Ojiego (Nigeria) 49.03, Javelin (the newly modified implement)1. Nikola Tomeckova (Czech Republic) 60.23, 2.Rhona Dwinger 51.20, 3. Liezel Roux 48.20.