By Mark Etheridge
Up and coming sprinter Justine Palframan may have not been in the final mix for the 200-metres event at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow on Thursday, but the experience of having mixed it with the likes of Olympic champion Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce in the heats will be invaluable.
The Stellenbosch University student ended fifth in heat three of seven, clocking a time of 23.64 seconds.
That’s slightly off her season’s best 23.28 while her personal best stands at 23.22. But she can take heart from a good start in lane one and she ran a fine bend. It was just down the final straight that she seemed to end in “nowhere land”, behind the first bunch of four athletes and not left with anyone to hang on to.
Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce won the heat in 22.78 with America’s Allyson Felix the quickest through to the next round with a 22.59 win in Heat Six.
Palframan’s father, Steve, who oversaw her coaching in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal before Matie coach Mo Ally took over the reins from the beginning of the year, said one has to look at Justine’s run in a realistic manner.
“She was the slowest in her heat on paper, so it was great that she ended up beating two of the women in her heat. I think the best part of her race was coming off the bend, it was just that she seemed to ‘get lost’ with about 70m to run.
“But this is exactly the sort of experience that she and many of our other athletes need to be exposed to and they can only learn from this. We must also not forget that she had a bit of an injury scare at the end of May.”
Many are still of the opinion that Palframan’s best distance will turn out to be the one-lapper over 400m but Palframan Senior still reckons she needs the 200m in her armour. “She needs to get her 200m time below 23 if she wants to be a real factor over 400m one day.”
Palframan will now swop starting blocks for study books back at Stellenbosch and will probably take around six weeks off from track training before getting back into things.
Meanwhile our lone javelin athlete, Robert Oosthuizen, failed to make it through the qualifying rounds.
Throwing in Group B he had two throws of 74.36 and 70.99, well off the 82.50 which would ensure automatic qualification. Failing the 82.50 he would have needed to end as one of the 12 best throwers but his 74.36 saw him ending 16th of 17 athletes in his group and 31st of 33 in total.
Top mark overall came from Finland’s Tero Pitk├ñm├ñki (84.39m) while Egyptian Ibah Abdelrahamn El Sayad of Egypt topped Oosthuizen’s group.
And staying with the field events big Orazio Cremona was in shot put action. Going into the event with a 20.55m best from earlier this season he ended seventh in his group with a 19.42m effort.
Automatic qualifying distance was 20.65m or the 12 best performances and his 19.42 wasn’t enough for Cremona to go through. He ended 15th best out of 28 starters.