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All eyes on Caster
- Updated: August 4, 2009
Caster Semenya, the world’s leading woman over 800 metres this year, will be the in-form athlete in the South African team at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Berlin, Germany later this month.
Athletics South Africa (ASA) Tuesday announced a final team of 25 men and six women for the August 15-23 event .
The team attended a training camp in Potsdam, Germany, in July and have been sharpening up in Neubrandenburg, Germany. “ASA’s efforts are bearing fruit as can be seen in the performances of several athletes during the past two weeks which made them strong contenders for the finals and medal places at the Championships, ASA’s general manager, Molatelo Malehopo, told SuperSport.
Semenya stunned the world at the African Junior Championships in Mauritius on Friday when she ran 1:56:72 for the two-lap event and she will join the group in Germany shortly.
Joining Semenya on top of the world was LJ van Zyl who dipped under the 48sec barrier for the first time in Monaco, also last week.
SA 1,500m champion Johan Cronje also moved among the world’s top athletes when he came just short of Johan Landsman’s SA record of 3:33,56.
Ruben Ramolefi is currently in 11th place on the world list in the 3 000m steeplechase, Khotso Mokoena continued his consistent form in the long jump and is currently rated third in the world, while Sunette Viljoen proved she was in the right frame of mind with her distance of 63,51m in the javelin at Leverkusen.
Lehann Fourie, who at the moment is studying in the US, and who reached the B qualification standard at the World Universiade in Belgrade in the 110m hurdles is also included.
The athletes in the training camp will compete on Wednesday at a meeting in Spandau to ascertain their fitness levels before the Championships.
The 31-strong South African team:
Men: Simon Magakwe, 100m and 4x100m (ACNW); Tshegofatso Meshoe, 200m and 4x100m (ANWN); Thuso Mpuang, 200m and 4x100m (AFS); Kagisho Kumbane, 4x100m (AFS); Hannes Dreyer, 4x100m (AGN); Leigh Julius, 4×100 (EPA); Lehann Fourie, 110m Hurdles (AGN); Pieter Smith, 400m and 4x400m(AGN); Louis (LJ) van Zyl, 400mH and 4x400m (AGN); Ofentse Mogawane, 4x400m (AGN); Sibusiso Sishi, 4x400m (CGA); Jacob Ramokoka, 4x400m (ANWN); Paul Gorries, 4x400m (EPA); Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, 800m (CGA); Samson Ngoepe, 800m (LIMA); Johan Cronje, 1 500m (AFS); Peter van der Westhuizen, 1500m (CGA); Ruben Ramolefi, 3000m Sc (CGA); Khotso Mokoena, Long Jump (AGN); Willem Coertzen, Decathlon (ACNW); Chris Harmse, Hammer Throw (AFS), Robert Oosthuizen, Javelin (BOLA); Norman Dlomo, Marathon (AVT); Coolboy Ngamole, Marathon (CGA); and Johannes Kekana, Marathon (CGA).
Women: Isabel le Roux, 200m (AGN); Caster Semenya, 800m (AGN); Janice Josephs, Long Jump (BOL); Sunette Viljoen, Javelin (ACNW); Elizna Naude, Discus (AFS); Tanith Maxwell, Marathon (KZNA).