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SA team for Benin

Seventy-six of our top athletes will represent South Africa at the Africa senior track and field championships in Benin on 27 June-1 July.

The team includes all our top athletes who need to compete at the Porto Novo venue as part of the 2012 Olympic Games selection criteria agreed on by SASCOC and Athletics South Africa.

Among the athletes will be Caster Semenya, the 2011 World Championships 800m silver medallist, who has already fulfilled two parts of the criteria by running an A standard qualifying time both locally and internationally.

Semenya has only represented South Africa at one Africa Championships in 2009 as a junior athlete in Bambous, Mauritius where news of her prodigious talent first emerged.

Also in the team is World Championship 400m hurdles bronze Medallist, LJ van Zyl. The 26-year-old from Gauteng North became the first track and field athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games on 5 April. Van Zyl will be looking to win his fourth straight African title in Benin after winning in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Our sole silver medallist in Beijing 2008, Khotso Mokoena will also be looking at defending his title n the men’s long jump.┬á After losing his National Title in windy conditions in Port Elizabeth, Mokoena bounced back and reached the Olympic Qualifying A-standard at the Yellow Pages III meeting in Pretoria on 20 April with a leap of 8.29m.┬á Mokoena recently competed at the Diamond League in Doha on 11 May, finishing second with 8.10m.

In the women’s javelin, Sunette Viljoen currently holds the Africa and South African record in the women’s javelin throw and has also qualified for the Olympic Games.

The powerful 29-year-old will be competing at her fifth Africa Championships this year and with her brilliant track record (gold in 2004, 2008, 2010 and silver in 2006). The Commonwealth Games gold medallist in 2010, the reigning African champion also won bronze in Daegu at the World Championships in 2011 with 68.38m. Her best this season is 61.84m in Ostrava on 25 May.

The full team for Benin is:
Men ÔÇô┬áSimon Magakwe (100, 200 metres), Roscoe Engel (100m), Hannes Dreyer (100m), Hannes Dreyer (100m), Anaso Jobodwana (200), Thuso Mpuang (200m), Lebogang Moeng (400m), Osar Pistorius (400m), Ofentse Mogawane (400m), Andrew Olivier (800m), Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (800m), Rynardt van Rensburg (800m), Johan Cronje (1500m), Juan van Deventer (1500m), Peter van der Westhuizen (1500m), Gladwin Mzazi (5000m), Elroy Gelant (5000m), Stephen Mokoka (10,000m), Ruben Ramolefi (3000m SC), Tumelo Matlagale (3000m SC), Junior Mkhatini (110m hurdles), Ruan de Vries (110m h), Lehann Fourie (110m h), PC Beneke (400m h), LJ van Zyl (400m h), Eben Beukes (pole vault), Ruan van Wyk (pole vault), Ruan Claasen (high jump), Hubert de Beer (high jump), Khotso Mokoena (long jump), Zarck Visser (long jump), Thumelo Thagane (triple jump), Burger Lambrechts (shot put), Orazio Cremona (shot put), Jaco Engelbrecht (shot put), Victor Hogan (discus), Russel Tucker (discus), Donovan Snyman (discus), Chris Harmse (hammer), Jason Henning (javelin), Robert Oosthuizen (javelin), Bernard Crous (javelin), Zavion Kotze (decathlon), Willem Coertzen (decathlon), Nardus Greyling (decathlon) Marc Mundell (20km walk). A 4x100m and 4×400 relay team will also compete.

Women ÔÇô Tsholofelo Thipe (200, 400m), Rorisang Ramonye (400m), Estie Wittstock (400m), Caster Semenya (800m), Mandie Brandt (800m), Mapaseka Makhanya (1500m), Lebo and Lebogang Phalula (1500m), Rene Kalmer (5000m), Noleen Conrad (3000m SC), Claudie Viljoen (100m h), Ansulet Potgieter (100m h), Wenda Theron (400m h), Janet Lawless (400m h), Anneri Ebersohn (400m h), Deone Joubert (pole vault), Jeannie van Dyk (pole vault), Juanita Stander (pole vault), Anika Smit (high jump), Bianca Erwee (high jump), Patience Ntshingila (long jump, triple jump), Janice Josephs (long jump), Lynique Prinsloo (long jump), Charlene Potgieter (triple jump), Sonia Smuts (shot put), Elizna Naude (discus), Maryke Oberholzer (discus), Annemie Smith (hammer), Sunette Viljoen (javelin), Gerlize de Klerk (javelin). A 4x100m and 4x400m relay team will also compete.


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