Rene's hectic qualifying dash | SASCOC - SASCOC

Rene’s hectic qualifying dash

By Mark Etheridge

Seemingly against all the odds Rene Kalmer has added her name to the selection pot for this year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.

Kalmer was a last-minute entrant in the women’s 1,500m at the season’s inaugural Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar on Friday and ended up running a fine 4min 07.80sec. That was good for ninth spot in the race behind Kenyan Nancy Langat (4:01.63), but more importantly, quicker than the 4:08.42 qualifying standard set down by Athletics South Africa.

Kalmer, 29, who has a personal best of 4:06.71 from two years ago, was chilling out in front of television when her week was fast-tracked.

“I was only informed late Tuesday evening that I could run in Doha on Friday,” Kalmer told Road to London, 2012. “I was recovering after a hard training session (5x1600m), not the ideal session before a 1500m race. My coach (Gerrie Coetzee) wasn’t really confident that I should go and run as we haven’t done any speed training to sharpen up for a 1500m race.

“But I just had to follow my gut feeling as I really wanted to run in Doha.”

Kalmer then had a race against time to get her ducks in a row. “It was hectic. I got kicked off my connnecting flight from Dubai to Doha as my visa wasn’t ready yet so I had to wait for nine hours at the airport for my visa!”

There followed a rush to the track where the drama continued. “Just before we went onto the track for our race, we got our electronic numbers but there wasn’t a number for me, just the electronic device so after a lot of stressful moments I finally got a hand-written number. As I stood on the start line I just thought: ‘let’s get this race over and done with.’

“I actually can’t remember anything of the race and I still can’t believe that I have qualified for the Commonwealth Games. Now the stress of chasing qualifying times are over and I can enjoy the rest of my races. Now I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season and running really fast.”

Should she get her Schengen Visa in time, Kalmer plans on running a 5000m in Hengelo, Netherlands at the end of the month and then a 1,500m in Rabat early next month.

another athletics supporter
another athletics supporter

Can`t agree more with the above person - more attention needs to be spent on our youth and junior athletes ... come on ASA they are our future athletes ! and by the way anyone got news/results on the Southern Region Youth champs that took place last weekend in Botswana ?

athletics supporter
athletics supporter

Athletes best interest definitely not top of ASA Agenda. They need to look after young youth and junior athletes who is performing. Not only buy a ticket to world events. Help them with diets, programmes, coaching clinics, gym programmes, etc. Some of the athletes in rural areas are really battling!!


Congratulations Rene Kalmer. I want to highlight the current affairs of ASA. Richard Stander has been appointed as an assistant to Mr Mali who is clueless about Athletics. His role is also to support the Interim Board that was appointed last year. However, the board does not have any power hence two of the board members resigned already. It is an indication of instability within the organisation. The people appointed there is Rubin Ramolefi who doesn't have any background of athletics administration whatsoever. Same with Sepeng. He has a foundation in Potch that is not working. Need I say more. I think these leaders appointed them to fail and say why do we need athletes, they cant do the job. But these boys cant see that. Richard is proved to be a compulsive liar. He singlhandedly destroyed athletics in the previous dispensation. He went to Boland and destroyed it as well. During the track and field season, it is alledged that there was not a single competition organized by the organization he is a CEO of.