With one of the Olympic Qualifying criteria being that athletes must participate at the Yellow Pages SA Senior Championships in order to be up for selection, the Championships in Port Elizabeth from 13-14 April will be an action-packed event with South Africa’s top athletes in the line-up.
With no track & field women specialists having achieved official qualification for the Olympic Games to date, the door is open for athletes hoping to add their names to the list.
Caster Semenya (800m) and Sunette Viljoen (javelin throw) fall in the category of having won silver and bronze respectively in Daegu, but need to repeat a qualification performance after 19 March at the Senior Championships, they will join the Olympic quest.
Semenya needs to break the 2-minute mark in the 800m with the A-standard at 1:59.90, while Viljoen needs to throw 61m in order to qualify. Viljoen already showed this year that she is capable of achieving the standard when she threw 61.41m at the ACNW Provincial Championships on 17 March.
Viljoen just missed the mark at the Yellow Pages Series II meeting in Potchefstroom, where her best attempt was measured at 59.30m, and withdrew from the Yellow Pages Interclub as a preventative measure against a minor back injury.
The only other athlete to have set A-standard qualifying marks for London once is Tsholofelo Thipe in both the women’s 200m and 400m, while many others have come close to the A-standard, but just missed the mark.
Athletes that have come close to the A-standard in their respective events are Rorisang Rammonye in the 400m, and Wenda Theron in the 400m hurdles.
The Yellow Pages SA Senior Championships will take place at the Xerox NMMU Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay, with the first event on Friday starting at 09:15. The last event of the day will start at 17:00. Saturday’s program will start at 06:30 with the last event at 17:25.
Tickets are available online from itickets.co.za, via telephone on 086 1000 291 or at the gate. Tickets are priced at R25 for adults and R15 for children.