World 800-metre champion in 2009, Caster Semenya gets her domestic track season underway at the Yellow Pages interprovincial meeting in Bellville on Saturday.
Also there in the second and final interprovincial athletics meeting will be the national record-holders in the women’s 3000-metre steeplechase (Tebogo Masehla) and women’s triple jump (Charlene Potgieter).
Semenya (AGN), who won silver in last year’s world championships, lines up in the 400m, as opposed to her favoured 800m event. She’ll be up against athletes such as All Africa Games silver medallist Wenda Theron (AGN), African Junior silver medallist Justine Palframan (KZN) and Anneri Ebersohn (AGN).
In the first interprovincial in Germiston last week Theron won the 400m in 54.18se while Ebersohn started her season on a high with a personal best (54.70sec) in Germiston. The 800m World Championships silver medallist, Semenya, achieved her 400m personal best of 52.54sec in Germiston last year.
Potgieter broke the SA record in the women’s triple jump in Germiston last week with two jumps measuring 13.61m and will line up again in the triple jump in Bellville. The only athlete in the line-up with Potgieter and who has broken the 13m mark is Matsie Dikotla from the University of Johannesburg. Dikotla’s 13.27m jump in Germiston was a new personal best, almost 70cm further than her previous best (12.58m).
Central Gauteng’s Masehla (CGA) set her SA record in Oordegem last year when she finished in 9:54.19. She will make her first appearance of the domestic track and field season this season.
The men’s 5000m is set to deliver an intense battle between Elroy Gelant (CNW) and Stephen Mokoka (AGN). Gelant has made no secret of the fact that he is hunting the Olympic qualifier of 13:20 and with Mokoka amongst others in the field, the chances are good that he will achieve his objective His personal best is 13:25.09 (Uden, 2/07/2011). Bellville will be Gelant’s first attempt before he travels to the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul from 9-11 March, where he will compete in the 3000m.
Roscoe Engel and Cornel Fredericks will be looking to score crucial points for Western Province as the host province is only 1189 points behind the 24 564 of Gauteng North. Engel will double up in the 100m and 200m while Fredericks, who represented South Africa at the World Championships in August in South Korea where he finished fifth in the 400m hurdles, will run the 400m flat with Shane Victor from KZN. Victor was in the 4x400m relay team in Deagu that broke the SA record and won the silver medal.
The meeting gets under way at 1pm with tickets priced at R20 for adults and R10 for children. Tickets are available at www.itickets.co.za.