Caster, LJ in action

The 2011 Yellow Pages Summer Series has come and gone with some great performances, as well as marking the return of world champion Caster Semenya and LJ Van Zyl’s... Read more

The 2011 Yellow Pages Summer Series has come and gone with some great performances, as well as marking the return of world champion Caster Semenya and LJ Van Zyl’s SA record in the 400 metre hurdles. Track and field action now shifts to a competition of a different format; that of the Yellow Pages Interprovincials, with the first taking place in Germiston on Saturday.

The new format is sure to offer some mouthwatering duels. The focus is to get as many points for your province and points are allocated according to the IAAF point’s tables, which are based on performance not position.

That means that a number of athletes will double up in a number of events offering up some interesting duels and scenarios.

Khotso Mokoena (AGN) is the SA record holder in both the long and triple jumps. However, youngster Luvo Manyonga who beat him in the long jump in the final Yellow Pages meeting is not competing so he should win that one; however it has been a few years since he has competed in the triple jump and he will be up against Tumelo Thagane (ACNW). Now back from injury and hearing that Mokoena was to compete in the triple jump, Thagane’s response was a confident ÔÇ£bring it.ÔÇØ The pair will go up against each in the long jump as well.

Central Gauteng are looking for maximum points in the middle distances, with the Phalula twins doubling up in the 800 and 1500m, Rene Kalmer and Irvette Van Blerk racing in the 1500m and 5000m and Tebogo Masehla doubling up in the 1500m and 3000m steeplechase. The Phalula twins have the best recovery time between races with the 800m getting under way at 1.45pm and the 1500m at 4.15pm.

Kalmer and Van Blerk however have less than an hour to recover. The 5000m starts at 5.10pm.

But the Phalula twins will have their work cut out for them with Semenya in the mix in the 800m. Semenya will also double, but she will race in the 400m and after her 54.03 clocking over 400m at the final Yellow Pages Meeting in Bellville earlier this month, she is by far the fastest in the quarter mile.

Western Province may rue the fact that they omitted Sonja van der Merwe in the 400m as she is, behind Semenya, the best in the country right now and her omission will cost the province valuable points.

The men’s middle distances will also deliver some great duels with Tshamano Setone (CGA) and Stephen Mokoka (AGN) both racing in the 1500m and 5000m.┬áAgain only 50 minutes separate these two races and interest will be high to see if the two look to run good times in both races without going flat out, or if they chose to race hard in either one or both races.

Remember that points are awarded for time so you could very well find that either one may think that going flat out in one race and then hanging on in the other could be the best option. Or they could opt to race their hearts out in both races. Certainly the calibre of the two is such that they could very well opt for the latter. Either way, the men’s 1500 and 5000m will be one of the highlights of the meeting.

Costly to Gauteng North could be the decision by Van Zyl to run the 400m flat and not his specialist event. The points he could have collected in the 400m hurdles will far out way the points he will pick up in the 400m flat, based on his current form. Van Zyl will be up against a fired up Ofentse Mogawane, Sibusiso Sishi and Jakob Ramakoka, all specialist 400m runners.

His absence also gives the likes of Pieter Koekemoer, Hardus Maritz and PC Beneke the opportunity to cash in points for their respective provinces in the 400m hurdles.

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