Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
TUKS DOMINATE VARSITY ATHLETICS OPENER
Sprinters Akani Simbine and Justine Palframan led the charge in Potchefstroom on Tuesday evening, producing the performances of the meeting at the first of two legs in the Varsity Athletics series.
Simbine carried Tuks to the top of the overall standings with 127 points, while hosts Pukke settled 10 points behind in second place, ahead of the final meeting in Stellenbosch on April 20.
Storming to a season’s best 10.09 seconds, just 0.07 off his career record set in Pretoria at last year’s national championships, the 21-year-old athlete won the men’s 100m dash nearly half a second ahead of Brent Stevens (10.49) who took second position.
“The standard here is high, which helps me gauge myself in the build-up to the World Student Games (in Gwangju in July) and the World Championships (in Beijing in August),” Simbine said.
Palframan, meanwhile, showed early strength ahead of next month’s national championships with a sprint double in the 200m (23.73) and 400m (54.20) events.
“I’m feeling good and I know what I need to work on now, so I’m looking forward to the season,” Palframan said.
Former two-lap world champion Caster Semenya, continuing her comeback from a poor run of form, stepped up in distance to win a tactical 1 500m race in 4:30:12.
“I’m enjoying my running right now, but with no speed and a lot of mileage in training it’s not easy, which is why I ran a tactical race,” Semenya said.
“I don’t want to push my body too hard at the moment so I’m taking it easy, and we’ll see how the next step goes.”
In the field, Stefanie Greyling launched a massive 55.93 personal best in the women’s hammer throw, on the eve of her 19th birthday, with Chene Coetzee (54.26) also achieving her best ever distance in second place.
Teenager Geraldine Duvenage set a career record of 55.65m in the women’s discus throw.
* See full results and standings in our Results section