Two more athletes meet Olympic mark
28 May 2012
The past weekend was one of mixed fortunes for South African athletes looking to qualify for the London Olympics. Two A-qualifier times were run, while two national records were threatened.
Middle distance runner Johan Cronje set the tone for the weekend by clocking a fast 3:35.33 in the men's 1 500 metres in Dessau, Germany on Friday for his first Olympic A-qualifier of the season.
In Ostrava, at the Golden Spike Meeting on Friday, Elroy Gelant finished sixth in the men's 3 000m with a personal best time of 7:41.38, which was just 0.32 seconds off the national record of Juan van Deventer.
Caster Semenya looked a long way off her best as she finished a distant second in the women's 800m in 2:00.80, while Sunette Viljoen, also some way off her best form, threw a season's best 61.84m to finish fifth in the women's javelin.
Simon Magakwe unfortunately false started in the men's 100 metres and Oscar Pistorius endured a terrible run, finishing last in the 400 metres in 47.66 seconds.
Thuso Mpuang had to settle for seventh in the 200 metres in a disappointing 20.95 seconds, but Tsholofelo Thipe fared better, placing fourth in the women's 200 metres in in 23.40 seconds.
Nolene Conrad came within 0.23sec of the South African record in the women’s 3 000m steeplechase when she clocked 9:54.42 in Oordegem, Belgium on Saturday.
On Sunday, Andre Olivier took 0.2sec off his personal best to clock 1:45.20 in the men’s 800m in Hengelo at the FBK Games. Despite finishing seventh, Olivier notched up his first Olympic A-qualifier in the event. The plucky youngster was disappointed as he felt he had run a tactically poor race and could have dipped under 1:45.00.
In the same meeting, Juan van Deventer missed out on his first Olympic A-qualifier by finishing the men's 1500m in 3:35.55, a mere five-hundredths of a second off the required time. It was just his second race since a car hit him while he was out training in mid-2011.
In Rabat on Sunday, Simon Magakwe placed fifth in the 100 metres at the 5e Meeting International Mohammed VI. He posted a time of 10.49 seconds. Race winner Justin Gatlin clocked 10.12sec.
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