23 SA ATHLETES QUALIFY FOR OLYMPIC MARATHON

 
Updated: April 24, 2016

A total of 23 South African distance runners have achieved the qualifying standards of 2:19:00 and 2:45:00 for the men’s and women’s marathons at the Rio Olympics in August.
Africa Mailola, the last elite SA man to compete in an international race ahead of the April 30 deadline, bombed out in his qualifying attempt in Morocco on Sunday as he battled to the finish in a pedestrian time of 2:54:40 at the Agadir Marathon.
Without Mailola, the final list of athletes who achieved the qualifying standard since the window period opened on May 1 last year included 14 men.
Stephen Mokoka, the fastest qualifier, had previously confirmed he would focus on the track in Rio, which would open one of three available marathon spots for another athlete.
Meanwhile, Irvette van Zyl made a successful late bid for the women’s team at the London Marathon on Sunday, taking 15th position in 2:32:20.
Rene Kalmer, making a comeback from a hip injury, ended 19th in 2:39:44.
Though Kalmer was well inside the required standard, becoming the ninth woman to qualify, she was unlikely to be selected because five other athletes had run quicker.
Traditionally, SA selectors have picked the three fastest qualifiers for major international championships, but Athletics SA (ASA) and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) retain the right to choose any athlete who achieved the required criteria.
A preliminary squad is expected to be announced by ASA early next month, and the final team will be named by Sascoc in July.

List of SA athletes who have achieved the Olympic qualifying standards for the marathon races at the Rio Games in August:

Men (2:19:00)

2:07:40 – Stephen Mokoka (Shanghai, 8 Nov 15)
2:11:27 – Lusapho April (Hannover, 10 Apr 16)
2:11:41 – Sibusiso Nzima (Seville, 21 Feb 16)
2:11:59 – Lungile Gongqa (Cape Town, 20 Sep 15)
2:12:29 – Michael Mazibuko (Cape Town, 20 Sep 15)
2:13:17 – Benedict Moeng (Hamburg, 17 Apr 16)
2:17:12 – Hendrick Ramaala (Cape Town 20 Sep 15)
2:17:26 – Coolboy Ngamole (Mossel Bay, 26 Sep 15)
2:17:26 – Xolisa Tyali (Brighton, 17 Apr 16)
2:17:43 – Desmond Mokgobu (Santiago, 3 Apr 16)
2:17:45 – Mthandazo Qhina (Cape Town, 20 Sep 15)
2:18:37 – Raphael Segodi (Mossel Bay, 26 Sep 15)
2:18:42 – Ntsindiso Mphakathi (Mossel Bay, 26 Sep 15)
2:18:55 – Siyabonga Nkonde (Mossel Bay, 26 Sep 15)

Women (2:45:00)

2:32:20 – Irvette van Zyl (London, 24 Apr 16)
2:33:43 – Christine Kalmer (Valencia, 15 Nov 15)
2:33:48 – Diana-Lebo Phalula (Enschede, 17 Apr 16)
2:37:12 – Jenna Challenor (Nagoya, 12 Mar 16)
2:37:21 – Mapaseka Makhanya (Shanghai, 08 Nov 15)
2:39:44 – Rene Kalmer (London, 24 Apr 2016)
2:43:38 – Keneilwe Sesing (Cape Town, 20 Sep 15)
2:44:26 – Caroline Wostmann (New York, 1 Nov 15)
2:45:00 – Zintle Xiniwe (Cape Town, 20 Sep 15)