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SA win 24 medals

By Mark Etheridge

Team South Africa return on Monday from the African Senior track and field championships with 24 medals after the five-day continental spectacular.

And the good news as the country’s athletes switch into Olympic gear now is that their medal haul was an improvement on five compared to the last championships in Kenya two years ago.

The team won six gold, 10 silver and eight bronze medals with the Olympic highlight being Andre Olivier’s 1min 45.09sec bronze medal in the 800m. It was his second A Standard qualifier and will see him join Team South Africa at the London Games later this month.

On Sunday’s final day of the competition the South Africans won two more medals, both of them silver and they ended third on the medals table behind Nigeria and Kenya.

Charlene Potgieter jumped a personal best 13.90 metres to end runner-up in the triple jump behind Uganda’s Sarah Mambawa who leapt the same distance but won on a count back. SA champion Patience Ntshingila ended seventh with a 13.18m best on the day.

Then the men’s 4x400m relay squad also took silver. The team, comprising PC Beneke, Oftentse Mogawane, Oscar Pistorius and Willie de Beer clocked 3:0401 as Nigeria ran away with gold (3:02.39).

Olivier was the only South African athlete to qualify for the Games at the Championships. Paralympic legend Oscar Pistorius failed to run a second 400m qualifier but may still get the nod for the men’s 4x400m relay team.

The 1500m final had three South Africans in the line-up but only Johan Cronje was in line for a spot at the Olympics after having already run one qualifying time. But neither him nor Juan van Deventer or Peter van der Westhuizen were able to make much of an impact.

Cronje was chasing the 3:35.50 qualifier but fell short to end fifth in 3:38.27. Van Deventer, who has been in a race against time after a car crash necessitated knee surgery last year, took eighth in 3:40:80 and Van der Westhuizen 11th in 3:43.40. Kenya’s Caleb Mwangangi won in 3:35.71.

All South Africa’s medallists at the championships:ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿GoldÔÇ¿Burger Lambrechts, men’s shot put.┬áWinning distance: 19.51mÔÇ¿Simon Magakwe, men’s 100m.┬áWinning time 10.29secÔÇ¿Victor Hogan men’s discus. Winning distance: 61.08mÔÇ¿Men’s 4x100m relay team. Winning time: 39.26secÔÇ¿Chris Harmse men’s hammer. Winning distance: 77.22mÔÇ¿Lehann Fourie men’s 110m hurdles. Winning Distance:┬á 13.60sec

SilverÔÇ¿Orazio Cremona, men’s shot putÔÇ¿Zarck Visser, Men’s long jumpÔÇ¿Oscar Pistorius, men’s 400mÔÇ¿Juanita Stander, women’s┬á pole vault ÔÇ¿Elizna Naude, women’s discusÔÇ¿Janice Josephs, women’s long jumpÔÇ¿Anika Smith, women’s high jumpÔÇ¿Justine Robbeson, women’s javelin throwÔÇ¿Charlene Potgieter, women’s triple jumpÔÇ¿Men’s 4x400m relay team (PC Beneke, Ofentse Mogawane, Oscar Pistorius, Willem de Beer)

BronzeÔÇ¿Andre Olivier, men’s 800m (Olympic Qualifier, 1:45.09)ÔÇ¿Jeannie van Dyk, women’s pole vaultÔÇ¿Russel Tucker, men’s discusÔÇ¿Willie de Beer, men’s 400mÔÇ¿Ruan van Wyk, men’s pole vaultÔÇ¿Lynique Prinsloo, women’s long jumpÔÇ¿Gerlize de Klerk, women’s javelin throwÔÇ¿Bianca Erwee, women’s heptathlon


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