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SA athletes out in force at Flanders Cup but key qualifications missed
- Updated: July 11, 2016
Unable to secure a last-minute 4×100-metre relay team for next month’s Olympic Games in Rio, South Africa still produced some fine athletics performances at the Flanders Cup in Kortrijk, Belgium at the weekend.
With a number of the country’s fastest men unavailable for a number of reasons, a South African quartet secured a solo victory in 40.03 seconds, well outside the 38.35 national record that would have given them a chance of cracking the nod.
It means SA won’t have Olympic relay representation at the Olympics for the first time since 1992.
There was also disappointment for former World Championships 1500m bronze medallist Johan Cronje, who failed to finish the men’s 1500m race, and was unable to achieve the required Olympic standard of 3:36.20. This after missing the mark by just 0.14sec during the window period.
Sprinter Emile Erasmus, pictured above centre in local action, was the best of a large group of SA athletes who turned out, clocking 10.24 to take second place in the men’s 100m race, and though he was just 0.03 outside his personal best, he enjoyed the benefit of a +3.5m/s tailwind.
The powerhouse speedster crossed the line 0.07 behind 19-year-old Karabo Mothibi of Botswana who secured victory, while compatriot Roscoe Engel finished fourth in 10.41.
Erasmus and Engel also took fourth and fifth positions in 21.29 and 21.37 respectively in the 200m race.
Athletics South Africa had also entered Women’s 4x100m and 4x400m teams, aiming to secure Olympic berths, but both squads were withdrawn due to the unavailability of multiple athletes.
World student 400m champion Justine Palframan held on for second position in the women’s 200m, crossing the line in 23.79 in windy conditions. LaVerne Jones-Ferrette of the Virgin Islands won the half-lap race in 23.64.
Long jumper Zarck Visser settled for third spot in the men’s contest with a best effort of 7.62m, with two-time World Championships silver medallist Ignisious Gaisah of the Netherlands producing a 7.98m winning leap
Visser is one of six men in contention for the Olympic team, to be announced by SASCOC on Thursday, and though he has not gone over the eight-metre barrier this year, he leads the list of qualifiers with his 8.41m personal best set last season.
In other contests at the Flanders Cup meeting, Walter Ungerer was disqualified in the men’s 100m B final, but went on to finish third in the 200m B race in 21.28. Earlier in the programme, Ungerer had grabbed second spot in his 100m heat in 10.38, pushed by a +3.2m/s wind.
Teenager Braam Bisschop ended fourth in the Men’s 400m B race in 48.09, and rising junior star Jeanelle Griesel, who will form part of the SA team at the World U-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz later this month, was third in the Women’s 400m B race in 55.24.
Middle-distance athletes Gena Lofstrand and Anuscha Nice both crossed the line in podium positions in the women’s 800m contest. Manal el Barhaoui of Morocco won in 2:06.98, edging Lofstrand into second spot, just 0.05 off the pace, with Nice ending third in 2:08.51.
Samantha Pretorius took seventh place in the women’s long jump with a final round leap of 6.04m, and though she was short of her best form, she showed tremendous consistency, touching down between 6.01m and 6.04m with four of six attempts.
Stella Marais settled for ninth place in the women’s 1500m event, covering the distance in 4:29.97.
Picture of Erasmus courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA