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Reports from South African Champs and Old Mutual marathon

South African Championships and Old Mutual Cape Town Marathon
Mark Ouma for IAAF

5 March 2000 - South Africa - Underdogs Johannes Maramane (marathon) and Shaun Abrahams (800m) together with junior athletes Jacques Freitag (high jump) and Zanelle Grobler (1500m) set career bests en route to winning national titles at the  South African championships over the weekend.

The Old Mutual Cape Town Marathon on Sunday which doubled up as the national championships, also featured an international team competition that included Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, and hosts South Africa. On Friday and Saturday, the ABSA Senior Track and Field Championships were held at the Coetzenburg Stadium in Stellenbosch.

The men’s marathon race got off at a cracking pace with brilliant pacesetting by John Monyatso, John Tjale and Lawrence Ntantiso. They lead through 5km in 5:26, 15km 45:56 and 21.1 km in 1:04.48.

This raised expectations that the race could be won in a sub 2 hours 10 minutes for the first time on African soil. South African defending champion Frank Pooe (All Africa Games bronze medallist and third in Boston last year), was the first major casualty of the fast pace, when he withdrew after 25 km citing a hamstring injury.

Monyatso dropped out at 30km having covered the distance in 1:32:19. The tempo dropped slightly for 3km before Maramane, Joshua Peterson (two time Soweto marathon champion and All Africa Games gold medallist), Namibia’s Luketz Swatbooi (silver medallist at 1993 Stuttgart world championships) and South African new finds Bethuel Netshifhefhe and Jacob Mazibuko wore down the leading group with a series of surges.

The effect of this acceleration, in turn took its toll as Mazibuko fell back at 35 km. Swatbooi slowed down at 38km having developed serious blisters, while Netshifhefhe dropped back at 40km.

In a dramatic finish, Peterson made his move at 41km but did not create a huge gap. Maramane responded with less than 500 metres to the finish, he overtook a struggling Peterson and held on to win in a career best of 2:11.15. This was four seconds faster than his fourth place clocking in Rheims (France) in 1996.

Runner up Peterson had a double consolation. He improved on his third position of last year and his time of 2:11.19 betters his career best of 2:13:19 set at the same race last year.

Little-known Netshifhefhe was third in a personal best of 2:11.44. This was a massive improvement from 2:22.06 for the athlete who was running his third marathon.

"This is the greatest achievement of my life. l have been unemployed since 1994 and l will use my Rands 15,000 (US dollars 5,000) prize money to invest in the education of my four children. I hope that my performance can earn me invitations to compete at lucrative meetings abroad. This is the only way l can secure a better the future of my family," said Maramane.

Eight athletes covered the distance in under 2:14:00, the qualifying time for the Sydney Olympics, while eight of the top ten set career best times. Though none of their athletes finished in the top ten, Ethiopian won the team event. South Africa were second, ahead of third placed Kenya.

The women’s race boiled down to a duel between defending champion Gwen van Lingen (South Africa) and Namibian Elizabeth Mongudhi. The pair ran shoulder to shoulder for most of the race until 38 km when Van Lingen broke away to win in 2:39:08. Mongudhi was second in 2:40:09, while Soweto marathon champion Sarah Mahlangu was thrid in 2:42:31.

Earlier on, a vastly improved Shaun Abrahams qualified for the Sydney Olympics on his was to winning the 800m at the ABSA Senior track and field championships in Stellenbosch.

Abrahams accelerated with 180 metres to the finish and powered his way to victory in 1:45.03. His time is well inside the stringent Athletics South Africa (ASA) qualifier of 1:45.60. Abrahams also improved on his previous career best of 1:46.70 which he achieved in the same stadium two years ago.

Runner up Gideon van Outshoorn clocked 1:45.63.He improved his career best by 0.47 second. Besides he and third placed Jurgens Kotze (1.46.22) achieved the Olympic A-category qualifying standards.

"To be honest l did not know what to expect in the race after l learnt that Van Oudtshoorn and the Kotze brother (Meyer and Jurgen) had a plan to burn me out early in the race. They took us through the first lap on 50 second.

"When Johan Botha took the lead with 300m to go l decided to go with him and accelerate with 200m to the tap. I am glad my strategy worked," said a delighted Abrahams.

Looking ahead, he says that he will prove that his victory was not a flash in the pan. " I want to prove that l can hold my own against strong international opoposition. That opportunity will come a week from tommorow (Monday) in Roodepoort," said Abrahams.

Teaming up with the Africa Junior champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, Abrahams plans to outclass his Autralian opponents at International Test match against Australia on March 13. The two athletes will be making their debuts in the senior national team.

Seventeen year old Jacques Freitag cleared the high jump bar at a height of 2.29 metres to surpass by a centimetre, the Africa Junior record and the South Africa senior achieved by compatriot Casper Labuschagne in 1998. Freitag is the first junior to qualify for the Olympics. Runner up Malcolm Hendricks improved his career best by a centimetres to 2.26m.

Although the sixteen year old Zanele Grobler, won the women’s 1500m in a career best of 4:15.16 she was not satisfied woith her performance. I wanted to run 4:14.00 so that l can qualify for the World Junior championships," said Grobler. She won the gold medal in the event at the 1999 World Youth championship in Poland and the 1998 World Youth Games in Russia.

Eight other athletes set career bests in the process of winning national titles. The two in the men’s events were shotputter Burger Lambrechts (20.56) and 20km mens walking Tjapelon Mangole (1:35:13:3).

Other women who set career bests were shotputter Veronica Abrahamse (16.67), 5000m Rene Kalmer (16:20.29), 800m Chantal Breets (2:04.88) and 3000mk steeplechase runner Poppy Mlambo (10.54.03).

In her final race before competing in the Boston Marathon on April 17, Elana Meyer defended her 10000m title and qualified for the Olympics in the 31:47.32. "I prefer competing in the marathon at the Sydney Olympics. I gave the 10000m my best shot at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics," said Meyer who won the silver medal in Barcelona.


Old Mutual South Africa Marathon Championshipson March 5

Note all athletes are South Africa unless where mentioned.


1 Johannes Maremane 2:11:15 (PB)
2 Joshua Peterson 2:11:19 (PB)
3 Bethuel Netshifhefhe 2:11:44 (PB)
4 Luketz Swatbooi (Namibia) 2:12:11
5 Jacob Mazibuko 2:13:01 (PB)
6 Brian Zondi 2:14:07 (PB)
7 Josian Bembe 2:14:46 (PB)
8 Nixon Nkodima 2:13:10
9 Moses Rachaka 2:16:31 (PB)
10 Hector Mahlangu 2:16:53 (PB)


1 Gwen van Lingen (nee Griffiths) 2:39:08
2 Elizabeth Mongudhi (Namibia) 2:40:10
3 Sarah Mahlangu 2:42:33
4 Theresa Du Toit 2:44:31
5 Carol Mercer 2:46:58



1 ETHIOPIA (6:51:54)
Dawit Trfe 2:17:01
Kassahun Kabiso 2:17:02
Wellye Jara 2:17:51

2 SOUTH AFRICA (6:56:10)

Nixon Nkodima 2:13:10
Moses Rachaka 2:16:31
Samuel Molokomme 2:26:29

3 KENYA (6:56.56)
Wilson Kagiri 2:16:57
Benson Muiruki 2:19.53
Eliud Rugut 2:20.06


ABSA South Africa Senior Track and Field Championships March 3-4

1 Matthew Quinn 10.33
2 Johan Venter 10.37
3 Paul Gorries 10.45
1 Matthew Quinn 20.90
2 Paul Gorries 20.98
3 Lee-Roy Newton 20.99
1 Hendrik Mokganyetsi 45.53
2 Jopie van Oudtshoorn 45.61
3 Marcus la Grange 45.65
4 Arnaud Malherbe 45.93
110m Hurdles
1 Shaun Bownes 13.96
2 Francios du Toit 14.51
3 Bruce Bickel 14.52
400m Hurdles
1 Llewellyn Herbert 49.06
2 Hennie Botha 49.60
3 Alwyn Myburgh 50.85
1 Shaun Abrahams 1:45.03 (PB)
2 Gideon van Oudtshoorn 1:45.63 (PB)
3 Jurgens Kotze 1:46.22
4 Wenner Botha 1:46.49
5 Johan Botha 1:46.63
6 Marius van Heerden 1:46.64
1 Clyde Colenso 3:43.80
2 Johan Cronje 3:44.10
3 Esau Faro 3:44.80
3000m steeplechase
1 Simon Mayisela 8:35.67
2 Johannes Ndala 8:44.50
3 Petros Sithole 8:47.29
1 Whaddon Niewoudt 14:04.71
2 Enos Matalane 14:05.51
3 S. Khambule 14:07.03
1 Hendrik Ramaala 28:48.28
2 Makhosonke Fika 28:49.03
3 Eric Biyase 28:49.84
Long Jump
1 Felix Coetzee 7.64
2 Martin McClintock 7.40
3 Mome Boucher 7.06
Triple Jump
1 W Coetzee 15.35
2 Kobus Vosloo 15.26
3 N van wyk 14.84
High Jump
1 Jacques Freitag 2.29 (Africa Junior record/ South Africa record)
2 Malcolm Hendricks 2.26 (PB)
3 T. Peacock 2.16
Pole Vault
1 Okkert Brits 5.50
2 Riaan Botha 5.30
3 Fanie Jacobs 5.00
Shot Put
1 Burger Lambrechts 20.56 (PB)
2 Karel Potgieter 19.27
3 Frits Potgieter 18.42
1 Frantz Kruger 63.87
2 Frits Potgieter 62.65
3 Hannes Hopley 56.18
1 Marius Corbett 80.29
2 Johannes van Eck 72.66
3 Johan Vosloo 72.16
1 Chris Hamrse 70.64
2 Richard Meiring 62.93
3 A Dos Santos 59.93
1 Fanie Botha 6864
2 Robert Fletcher 6432
3 Vernon Swartz 6175
20 km walk
1 Tjapelon Mangole 1:35:13.3 (PB)
2 Rickus Blignaut 1:35:51.7
3 Thami Hlatswayo 1:37:00.4
1 Western Province 40.38
2 Gauteng North 41.10
3 Central Gauteng 41.48
1 Central Gauteng 3:05.80

2 Gauteng North 3:06.16
3 Western Province 3:11.04

1 Wendy Hartman 11.32
2 Dikeledi Moropane 11.45
3 S Lourens 11.88
1 Heide Seyerling 23.06
2 Wendy Hartman 23.31
3 Susana Holtzhausen 23.86
1 Heide Seyerling 51.26
2 Susanna Holtzhausen 52.15
3 Leanie van der Walt 54.13
100m Hurdles
1 Surita Febrraio 13.42
2 Liesel Heyneke 13.85
3 Lana van Heerden 13.99
400m Hurdles
1 Surita Febbraio 56.43
2 Lana van Heerden 57.68
3 Kerry van Zyl 58.15
1 Chantal Breet 2:04.88 (PB)
2 Avril Halstead 2:05.05
3 Catherine Maapela 2:05.33
1 Zanelle Grobler 4:15.16 (PB)
2 Rene Kalmer 4:17.09
3 Avril Halstead 4:17.78
3000m steeplechase
1 Poppy Mlambo 10:54.03 (PB)
2 Thuliswa Nonkonyana 11:00.18
3 Rialette Kruger 11:00.48
1 Rene Kalmer 16:20.29 (PB)
2 Carlien Cornelissen 16:21.71
3 Alta Verster 16:25.19
1 Elana Meyer 31:47.32
2 Charne Radameyer 34.10.43
3 Louise Leballo 343:34.01
Long Jump
1 Delia Visser 6.18
2 Liezel Heyeke 5.95
3 Ria Fourie 5.94
Triple Jump
1 Petrusa Marais 12.51
2 Ramonba Gabriels 12.00
3 Mari Odendaal 11.92
High Jump
1 Hestrie Cloete 1.90
2 Marizca Gertenbach 1.85
3 Nicolize Steyn 1.85
Pole Vault
1 Elmaire Gerryts 4.20
2 Rika Erasmus 3.80
3 Chrisna Oosthuizen 3.70
1 Rhona Dwinger 54.98
2 Tanya Tesner 52.87
3 Liezel Roux 50.62
Shot Put
1 Veronica Abrahamse 16.67 (PB)
2 Maranelle du Toit 16.57
3 A Jordaan 12.98
1 Elizna Naude 55.64
2 Rhona Dwinger 50.78
3 Lezelle Duvenhage 49.50
1 Elmarie Knoetsen 57.98
2 L van Zyl 50.58
3 M Engelbrecht 50.19
1 Marlize Fouche 5787
2 Janice Josephs 4937
3 Marizca Gertenbach 45.78
10km Walk (Juniors)
1 K Becker 1:02:51.09
20km Walk (Seniors)
1 Susan Vermeulen 1:45.45.1
2 Barabara Nel 1:52:40.5
3 Dalene Enslin 1:56:50.9
4x100m relay
1 Central Gauteng 45.34
2 Western Province 46.03
3 Free State 47.52
4x400m relay
1 Central Gauteng B 3:43.42
2 KwaZulu-Natal 3:44.14
3 Central Gauteng A 3:45.56