Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
SHANGE BREAKS SA TRACK WALKING RECORD
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott
Race walker Lebogang Shange has set his sights on every national record on the track after smashing the 26-year-old mark in the men’s 3 000m event this weekend.
Shange clocked 11:20.39 at a league meeting in Pretoria on Saturday to chop nearly seven seconds off the 26-year-old record held by his coach, Chris Britz, in the seven-and-a-half lap event.
The 25-year-old High Performance Centre athlete confirmed he would target the long-standing 5 000m (19:29.94) and 10 000m (40:32.78) marks held by Britz, as well as the 20 000m record (1:24:51) held by Stanley Valentine, over the next few seasons.
“This is hopefully the first of many records,” Shange said.
“I intend to go for the 5000m walk record next year. The year after that I will try to break the record in the 10 000m, followed by the 20 000m record.
“The secret of being constantly successful is to try not to be too greedy. That is why I will focus on one goal at a time.
“I am planning to be a competitive walker for a long time to come, and if my body holds up I will only retire at 42.”
Shange was set to leave for Switzerland on Monday for a 20km road race next weekend.
Meanwhile, 16-year-old Pierre Vermaak continued his steady progress, breaking the SA youth 3 000m walk record by 31 seconds.
Vermaak crossed the line in 12:41:32 to miss Clive Khumalo’s 28-year-old national junior mark by just two seconds.
Also competing in Pretoria, LJ van Zyl displayed fine early season form to win the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.42 seconds, achieving the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August.
“My winning time is not a true reflection of what I am capable of at the moment. I purposely did not run flat out,” Van Zyl said.
“If I did I would probably have run a time faster than 49 seconds. It was the first time this season that I competed in a 400m hurdles race and it was the confidence booster I needed.”
Sprinter Akani Simbine bounced back from an injury layoff to win the men’s 100m race at Tuks in 10.42 seconds and the 200m in 20.76.
“I am satisfied. I just wanted to get a feel for racing again and get the rust out of my system before I start gunning for faster times,” Simbine said.