16 April 2012
A number of athletes achieved Olympic qualifying standards at the Yellow Pages South African Senior Track and Field Championships in Port Elizabeth on the weekend. However, a number of big names have yet to meet the marks required for participating at London 2012.
Among those to meet the set standards were 10 000 metres runner Steven Mokoka, decathlete Willem Coertzen, 400 metres hurdler Cornel Fredericks, 100 metres sprinter Simon Magakwe and javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen. LJ van Zyl, third in the 400 metres hurdles at last year’s World Championships, had secured his place a week earlier.
Mokoka produced a superb run in the 10 000 metres to record the third fastest time ever by a South African athlete. His 27:40.73 was over four seconds inside the Olympic A-Qualifying time of 27:45.00.
Mokoka has also qualified for the marathon and will need to make a decision about which event he wishes to
“My coach and I haven’t decided yet which one I will go for,” he said in a statement. “My agent is looking to find me a few 10 000m races in Europe, and with faster athletes in the field I am sure I can go faster.”
He, however, suggested that he will contest the longer race when he told the IAAF: “I think the marathon is best”.
Coertzen improved his national record in the decathlon from 8 146 to 8 244 points, which bettered the Olympic standard by 44 points.
“I am absolutely ecstatic. I’ve worked so hard the
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