Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
GELANT, SEMENYA SHINE IN CAPE TOWN
Middle-distance runners Caster Semenya and Elroy Gelant were the star performers on Tuesday evening, achieving Olympic qualifying marks in their respective events at the Athletics South Africa Night Series meeting in Cape Town.
Having already qualified in the 400m and 800m events for the Rio Games, Semenya again displayed fine form in her first two-lap race of the season.
Hitting the front from the start, she produced a solo effort to secure victory in 2:00.23.
“I’m quite happy with the work I’ve done over the last few months. I just need to go back and train to get under two minutes,” said the former world champion.
“We now need to go back a bit. We’ve run two minutes and I think we’ll maybe do one more race before the SA Championships (in Stellenbosch next month) and hopefully we can go under the two-minute barrier.”
Gelant, meanwhile, went out hard in the men’s 5 000m race, and though pacemaker Jerry Motsau dropped out before the 2 000m mark, he pushed on to finish in 13:20.70.
“I’m really pleased with my 13:20. It’s a qualifier and a goal I can tick off,” he said.
“I’m going to take it step by step. The first one is in the bag, so we’ll see what happens now.”
In other events, former Commonwealth champion LJ van Zyl won the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.74, holding off a charge from Lindsay Hanekom who crossed the line in 49.81.
Junior athlete Gezelle Magerman, the Youth Olympic Games champion, secured an impressive victory in the women’s one-lap hurdles contest in 58.38.
Former national record holder Henricho Bruintjies opened his 2016 campaign with a 10.26 victory in the men’s 100m sprint, while Alyssa Conley won the women’s short dash in 11.36.
Dumisane Hlaselo was two seconds outside the Olympic qualifying mark in the men’s 1 500m race, though he delivered a fine performance to win in 3:38.39.
Former World Championships finalist Victor Hogan was the best of the field event athletes, winning the men’s discus throw with a 64.04m heave, nearly three metres clear of second-placed Russell Tucker.