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Kalmer hoping for calm

By Mark Etheridge

Rene Kalmer will be hoping to make it a case of “Sweet 16″ at Tuesday night’s Yellow Pages Series track and field meeting at Coetzenburg, Stellenbosch.

The number in question is the 16th athlete to post a Commonwealth Games qualifying performance for the Games in New Delhi, India later this year.

Kalmer goes off in the 1500 metres at the meeting which is set to get underway at 6.30pm.

She’ll be gunning for a target of 4min 8.4sec to put her name in the Commonwealth selection hat, subject to SASCOC’s qualification criteria.

But the former school teacher’s quest, despite showing superb early season form, has been made that much harder on two fronts.

She had allegedly roped in the services of Juanee Cilliers, an established pacemaker on the international circuit, to take her through the 800m mark in around 2:10.

But it seems that has now fallen through although 800m champion Mapaseka Makhanya’s presence in the field should still ensure a good pace. The more worrying factor, and always a potential problem at the picturesque Coetzenburg oval, is the wind.

Weather reports predict a south-easter of around the 45km/h mark this evening and that could blow all qualifying chances right out of the window.
ÔÇ£Having Mapaseka in the race is great because she is in good form,ÔÇØ said Kalmer, who recently won the 1500 and 5000m events at the nationals in Durban. ÔÇ£I missed out on the qualifying mark by 0.2 of a second in Durban last weekend, and am determined to get it right at Coetzenburg.ÔÇØ

One man who has extremely fond memories of Coetzenburg who last year broke Whaddon Niewoudt’s national 3000m steeplechase record at the national championships. He then went on to improved in in Europe.

A finalist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 as well as at last year’s World Championships in Berlin, this looks to be his last chance of a good time at sea level this season.

Others to watch for will be the young Tukkies flyer, Jacques Swardt who ran a fine 46.86sec over 400m at last week’s Johannesburg Yellow Pages event and Simon Magakwe in the 100m dash. It was also on this track last year that Magakwe raised eyebrows by winning the national title.

He ran 10.35 to win his event in Johannesburg last week and he’ll no doubt also be hoping the wind stays away as the finishing straight is right in the eye of any south-easter activity.

Ofentse Mogawane will be looking for another fine showing in the 400m but a lot of the spotlight’s glare may be taken by 17-year-old Tuks sensation Jacques Swardt who clocked 46.86 at the Yellow Pages Series meeting in Johannesburg last week.

Then there’s also local hero Cornel Fredericks. He took an unexpected gold medal in the 400m hurdles final at national championships after favourite and reigning Commonwealth champion LJ van Zyl was disqualified after a false start.

Van Zyl isn’t in action tonight as he sets his sight on the upcoming Diamond League events in Europe but that won’t worry Fredericks as he looks to consolidate his Durban victory.

The Commonwealth qualifers this far in the season are:  Van Zyl (400m hurdles), Fredericks (400m hurdles); Ramolefi, Robert Oosthuizen  (javelin), Hardus Pienaar (javelin), Tumelo Thagane (triple jump), Setone Tshamano  (5000m), Elroy Galant (5000m), Estie Wittstock (400m), Elizna Naude (discus), Sunette Viljoen (javelin), Justine Robbeson (javelin), Tebogo Masehla (3000m steeplechase) and Myrette Filmalter         (3000m steeplechase).

Long jumper Khotso Mokoena is also eligible for selection after having achieved a silver medal for SA in the long jump at the IAAF World Indoor Championships held in Qatar earlier this month.

The top male and female performance at the event set to pocket R15000 courtesy of the Yellow Pages Athlete of the Meet competition.

Event  Time Event

1 ┬á┬á18:30┬á– Hammer (women)

2 ┬á┬á19:00┬á– Pole vault ┬á┬á(w)

3 ┬á┬á19:00┬á– Long Jump ┬á┬á(Men)

4 ┬á┬á19:00┬á– 110 metre hurdles ┬á┬á(m)

5 ┬á┬á19:10┬á– 100m hurdles ┬á┬á(w)

6 ┬á┬á19:15┬á– Discus (m)

7 ┬á┬á19:20┬á– 100m┬á(m)

8 ┬á┬á19:30┬á– 100m┬á(w)

9 ┬á┬á19:40┬á– 400m┬á(w)

10 ┬á┬á19:50┬á– 800m┬á(m)

11 ┬á┬á20:00┬á– Long jump┬á┬á(w)

12 ┬á┬á20:00┬á– 3000m steeplechase ┬á┬á(m)

13 ┬á┬á20:15┬á– Discus┬á(w)

14 ┬á┬á20:15 ┬á– 1500m┬á(w)

15 ┬á┬á20:25┬á– 200m┬á(w)

16 ┬á┬á20:30┬á– 200m┬á(m)

17 ┬á┬á20:40┬á– 400m (m)

18 ┬á┬á20:50┬á– 1500m┬á(m)

19 ┬á┬á21:00┬á– 400m hurdles┬á(w)

20 ┬á┬á21:10 ┬á– 400m hurdles┬á(m)


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