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Two silvers but SA slip

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa had to settle for third best on the medals table after Sunday’s fifth and final day of the 17th African Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenya won another five gold medallions on the last day to end up with a total of 25 medals for the championships.
Their haul was made up of 10 gold, seven silver and eight bronze.

South African authorities will be a little perturbed. At the last championships in Addis Ababa two years ago they won 22 medals to Kenya’s 16.

On this occasion South Africa will bring home 19 medals, among them six gold. Nigeria were second in the medals standings with 18 but placed higher than SA because they won more gold medals.

On Sunday Kenya collected gold in the men’s 4x400m relay, the women’s 20km walk, the men’s 1500m and then took all three medals in the men’s 5000m, just as they had earlier done in the men’s 800m.

South Africa failed to win gold on Sunday, their only medal success coming in the shape of two silvers and a bronze medal.

Estie Wittstock won silver in the women’s 200m (23.50sec, a season’s best) as did Hardus Pienaar in the men’s javelin with a throw of 75.96 metres. Ulrich Damon was one place outside the medal positions with a throw of 71.50m.

In the men’s sprints Simon Magakwe picked up another bronze in the 200m to go nicely with his medal in 100m. On Sunday, he clocked 20.56sec.

In the men’s 1500m medal hopefuls Juan van Deventer and Johan Cronje finished sixth and ninth with times of 3:37.99 and 3:40.25. Both have run 3:35 earlier in the season.

Results from the fifth and final day:

Men

200m: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Ibrahim Amr Mostafa (EGY) 20.36, ÔÇ¿2 Yousef Ben Meite (CIV) 20.39ÔÇ¿, 3 Simon Magakwe (RSA) 20.56

1500m: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Asbel Kiprop (KEN) 3:36.19ÔÇ¿, 2 Amine Laalou (MAR) 3:36.38, ÔÇ¿3 Woldegirgis Gebremedhin (ETH) 3:36.65

5000m: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Edwin Soi (KEN) 13:30.46, ÔÇ¿2 Vincent Yator (KEN) 13:30.53, ÔÇ¿3 Mark Kiptoo (KEN) 13:39.80

20km walk: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Hassanine Sebei (TUN) 1:20:36ÔÇ¿, 2 David Kimutai (KEN) 1:21:07ÔÇ¿, 3 Hichem Medjeber (ALG) 1:22:53

4x400m relay: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Kenya 3:02.96ÔÇ¿, 2 Botswana 3:05.16ÔÇ¿, 3 Nigeria 3:06.53

High jumpÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿: 1 Kabelo Kgosiemang (BOT) 2.19m, ÔÇ¿2 Bong Matogno (CMR) 2.15, ÔÇ¿3 Fernand Djoumessi (CMR) 2.15

Javelin: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Eha El Sayed Abdelrahman (EGY) 78.02ÔÇ¿, 2 Gerhardus Pienaar (RSA) 75.96, ÔÇ¿3 Julius Yego (KEN) 74.51

Women

200mÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿: 1 Damola Osayemi (NGR) 23.36, ÔÇ¿2 Estie Wittstock (RSA) 23.50ÔÇ¿, 3 Perennes Pau Zang Milama (GAB) 23.59

800mÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1:┬á Zahra Bouras (ALG) 2:00.22ÔÇ¿, 2 Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN) 2:00.50, 3 Malika Akkaoui (MAR) 2:01.01

400m hurdles: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Hayat Lambarki (MAR) 55.96, ÔÇ¿2 Ajoke Odumosu (NGR) 55.97ÔÇ¿, 3 Maureen Jelagat Maiyo (KEN) 56.74

3000m steeplechase: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Milcah Chemos (KEN) 9:32:18ÔÇ¿, 2 Sofia Assefa Abebe (ETH) 9:32.58ÔÇ¿, 3 Lydiah Rotich (KEN) 9:37:32

20km walkÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿: 1 Grace Wanjiru (KEN) 1:34:19ÔÇ¿, 2 Chaima Trabelsi (TUN) 1:35:33ÔÇ¿, 3 Aynalem Eshetu (ETH) 1:41:46

4x400m relayÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿: 1 Nigeria 3:29.26, ÔÇ¿2 Kenya 3:35.12ÔÇ¿3,┬á Senegal 3:35.55

Shot put: 1 Mirian Ibekwe (NGR) 13.67ÔÇ¿, 2 Priscila Isiao (KEN) 13.62ÔÇ¿, 3 Doris Ratsimbazafy (MAD) 13.56

Triple Jump: ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿1 Sarah Nambawa (UGA) 13.94, ÔÇ¿2 Nkiruka Domike (NGR) 13.71ÔÇ¿, 3 Otonye Iworima (NGR) 13.65


16 comments
Insight
Insight

Can "Administration Failure!" please explain how Lawless became a tjommie of Stander & Harold Adams? Maybe it is time to start figuring this connection out as well. Just as Mario Smith from Boland was suddenly also promoted to become team manager for the junior World team.

Antie Stander
Antie Stander

Is ASA really concerned? This interim thing is very dangereous - I don not believe they know what is cooking, and to pretend they are in control, they jumped on this military approach - threatening and disciplining athletes!! O goodness I hope someone out there kick them out. Stander is making a mockery of governance and his political agenda is very transparent. We trust that a few true leaders will arise and annihilate this current asa circus.

athlete
athlete

My message to the selectors is that athletes careers are in your hands. you make or break them. Understand the value of giving athletes opportunities to compete internationally,It allows them to grow, stay motivated for the next year gives them experience and raises the level of both participation and level of strengh in those events in your own country as there becomes a reason to compete. Selectors please give more athletes opportunities and watch them grow into top athletes later in their carreers plant a seed for them to grow dont step on them and deny them what they deserve. too many athletes are leaving the sport prematurely

Concerned Parent
Concerned Parent

The sad part of this all is that our athletes are suffering! They have been gifted with amazing talents (God given) and they are not used, because of the way athletes are selected to participate internationally! Come on ASA do something to protect and incourage our born winners! Don't leave them out if they can show what they are made of! Juniors and seniors have been excluded from the final teams - they might have been able to bring back a medal!! We won't know now because they were not sent!! Now we wonder why our athletes stop all together!! Wake up Guys!!! Do something!!!!

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Junior. You're right it's to be hoped that the powers that be at ASA have a look at the comments, which are mostly constructive and in track and field's best interests, I would say. They may well want to have a re-think of some of their decisions after hearing what athletes and athletics fans have to say. I'm also hoping that these issues will be raised at ASA's coaching forum coming up. That will be a good place to start raising these issues or at least for ASA to acknowledge the input of people who care for the sport.

Junior
Junior

Hi Mark Etheridge If you look at the comments here there is much to comtemplate. I would very much like to know why ASA has decided to go the route of window period meets. Also if they would rethink window period meets now that they witness themself that its not to the advantage of the athletes? Could you perhaps ask Richard what his thoughts are on a system as explained in the comments(SA's, training camps, proper preparations for teams etc). The idea of a forum came to mind....

coach
coach

Richard Stander is a bad image for Athletics South Africa,he is actually by far worst that Lenord Cheune.I hope the sponsers can read this blog,why invest in something or helping to upbuild the sport again but it driven by people who doesn't care about athletes but about their salaries.SASCOC help and put this Stander guy and his intrem board as far as you can,isnt there a job at bafana bafana for these guys.

Track Enthusiast
Track Enthusiast

Administration failure knows his stuff. @Linda - I understand what you mean but listen carefully to what Admin Failure is saying. The window period forced athletes to compete in the local winter with very little to stimulate them except the pressure of having to post PB's. On the other hand athletes building up in Europe attend competitions where they are in a more conducisve climate. They compete against quality performers. The athletes in the local meets compete against themselves with some even running without pace-setters or even having to run in mixed events to try and qualify. The pressure on them is far too much. We left behind athletes that will wonder whether they should continue with their athletics under the circumstances. Face it - it was the most egotistical and arrogant approach to think that 'he' was single-handedly going to change South African athletics. If you wnat people to grow and change things, then you should hold hands with them instead of hitting them with a stick.

Administration Failure!
Administration Failure!

@linda The window period does not sharpen anyone up for a major meeting. Training camps and minor competitions in Europe does. Window periods kills athletes, as most have to produce PB's just to qualify. ASA have to objectively identify a national squad and finance them to train and compete in Europe prior to major meets. If you take a look at most medal winners at the African Champs most competed in Europe before Kenya. LJ and Cornel, Sunette, Elizna, Simon etc. The younsters did well but need proper competitions before major meets and exposure to travel/hotels/meetings etc. The problem is that there obviously is no money to send a squad anywhere. The sponsors are running away faster than Simon Magakwe ran in the 100m. And bad administration is keeping tme away. People like Richard Stander and the "Interm board" (for what thay are worth) should be finding sponsors, raising cash and marketing the sport. Instead they want to select teams, create selection criteria and manage teams. Richard Stander should find money for this not send all his and Harold Adams' tjommies (Lourens, Du Plessis, Lawless) overseas with national teams.

Administration Failure!
Administration Failure!

Richard Stander has finally done it. With his wonderful system of having to qualify and then produce a Pb weeks later he has finally destoyed athletics in SA. This is the worst performance at a African Champs ever, our juniors had the second worst junior champs ever. What is next? How can any person in their right mind think that you can take on the continent with 42 athletes. Kenya had athletes in every single event. We chose to leave half ours at home. Richard, you can not win a medal if you sit in front of the tv back home in SA. Let me tell you the secret behind the window period: ASA could only send a limited amount of athletes because there is no money. Tickets to the WJC cost R30000, because old Richard only booked them days before the championship. The whole idea with the selection criteria was to save money. If Richard Stander really has athletics at heart and is in the sport for the right reasons he will resign out of all stuctures of athletics. He has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not capible of running athletics at national or provincial level. He has totally failed.The honourable thing to do would be to quit. If SASCOC is serious about athletics in SA, they will remove him from all structures of athletics immediatly. I doubt very much that Richard Stander will do this as he is only in it to get a monthly pay check and to promote Harold Adams' cause to take over ASA. Athletics is the furthest thing from those two's minds.

linda
linda

baie geluk aan al die atlete. Ek dink persoonlik die window period is belangrik,dit skerp die atlete mooi op. Sal net dink sa kampioenskappe moet junie gehou word.

athletics fan
athletics fan

It`s all water under the bridge guy`s.Indeed very frustrating !. Perhaps the powers of athletics in SA should consider moving the National championships to a bit later in the year, to say June, then our athletes can peak at this time instead of earlier which is currently the case. Most major international competitions take place in the Northern Hemisphere`s Summer period.(June/July)Hopefully then, more of our athletes will be at their best/peak to compete more succesfully at international level. Just a thought.

Wendy
Wendy

What a shame - and I thought we had it in the bag!!

Junior
Junior

Thank God that for most of these athletes the longest season is now over. Some of these athletes already started last year October with pre-season meets, then YP and SA's and then the ridiculous "window period" meets and it showed with all the injured athletes in CAA champs. I can only hope that ASA will relook their modus operandi and get Athletics back on track. I feel sommer sad...... please put athletes first in 2011.......please

2010
2010

I really don't understand why these people like Stander is doing this to athletes and just leaving them out,who do he think he is.Where did he came up with his window period nonsens,he is distroying our sport and especially the developent of our sport,They are really distroying the sport whit what they busy with at the moment.I dont even know if Standers cares really about the athletes.He is really demotivates upcoming athletic stars. This is really bullshit but what can we do,nothing i think.

Track Enthusiast
Track Enthusiast

Well I guess your "window period" doesn't work now Mr. Stander and selectors. You must account for why some potential medallists were left behind. SA could have got medals in the Womens Pole Vault, Mens Pole Vault, Women's High Jump, Womens Long Jump, Men's 4x400m and women's 4 x 100m - why were some athletes who were fit enough for Africa left out of the team? Short-term solutions for a sport that was already bleeding has resulted in inflated ego's making decision that clearly don't serve the sport or the nation. Fix the problem urgently. I hope that the team for the next African Champs won't be smaller than this one with the reasoning that we are not performing so we should down-size. Carry this current class into the future by giving them the support they need and don't drop them if things don't go well - they are the best we have so invest in them! I can't wait to hear the 'selectors' explaination for the performance! We had no "window period" before the last African Champs in Algeria but we ended up winning the games. Did the current class peak too early - only Simon Magakwe seems to have set a PR. Wake up and smell the BS!!!