Montsho sets pace for SA hopes
SOUTH Africa's top two 400m runners will try to ride the wake of world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana at the SA Open Athletics Championships in Pretoria today.
Tsholofelo Thipe and Rorisang Ramonnye, training partners at Royal Bafokeng Athletics, are both looking to compete at the Olympics in London later this year.
Montsho has a personal best of 49.56, which she clocked at the world championships last year, but she has consistently broken 50sec every year since 2008.
This season's best so far is 50.94.
Thipe has already achieved qualifying times in the 200m and 400m, while the younger Ramonnye is on the brink of the 51.55 criterion in the one-lap race.
Ramonnye went 51.61, a personal best, before suffering a hamstring strain that forced her to miss the SA closed championships in Port Elizabeth last month. Thipe's best 400m time this season is 51.52.
But perhaps the most important aspect of this race will be to see how fast South Africa's top four runners in this event can go. There's talk that South Africa could send a women's 4x400m relay team to the Games.