African champs coming up

Caster Semenya is among 76 selected to represent South Africa at the CAA Africa Senior Championships in Porto Novo, Benin from June 27 to July 1

The 2011 World Championships 800m silver medallist has already qualified for the Olympic Games and needs to compete at the Championships as part of the selection criteria set by South Africa’s Olympic body Sascoc.

Semenya broke the two-minute barrier in April, for the first time on South African soil since Zelda Pretorius ran 1:58.85 in 1991, clocking 1:59.60, her best this season.

She last represented South Africa at the Africa Championships in 2009 in Mauritius, when she was still competing as a junior athlete.

World Championship 400m hurdles bronze medallist LJ van Zyl, who was the first track and field athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games, will be looking to win his fourth straight African title in Benin, after winning in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Olympic silver medallist in 2008, Khotso Mokoena hopes to defend his title at the Africa Championships in the men’s long jump.

After losing his national title in windy conditions in Port Elizabeth, Mokoena bounced back and reached the Olympic Qualifying A-standard at the Yellow Pages III meeting in Pretoria on April 20, with a leap of 8.29m.

Sunette Viljoen, who currently holds the Africa and South African record in the women’s javelin throw and has also qualified for the Olympic Games, will be competing at her fifth Africa Championships with an excellent track record of gold in 2004, 2008, 2010 and silver in 2006.   The reigning champion won bronze in Daegu at the World Championships in September 2011 with 68.38m and her season best is 61.84m which she threw in Ostrava last week.

Silver medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, and blade runner Oscar Pistorius are also part the team.

South African team for the African Championships: 

Men: Simon Magakwe 100m, 200m, Roscoe Engel 100m, Hannes Dreyer 100m, Anaso Jobodwana 200m, Thuso Mpuang 200m, Lebogang Moeng 400m, Oscar Pistorius 400m, Ofentse Mogawane 400m, Andre Olivier 800m, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi 800m, Rynhardt van Rensburg 800m, Johan Cronje 1500m, Juan van Deventer 1500m, Peter van der Westhuizen 1500m, Gladwin Mzazi 5000m, Elroy Gelant 5000m, Stephen Mokoka 10 000m, Ruben Ramolefi 3000m St, Tumelo Motlagale 3000m St, Junior Mkhatini 110mH, Ruan de Vries 110mH, Lehann Fourie 110mH, PC Beneke 400m H, LJ van Zyl 400m H, Eben Beukes PV, Heinrich Smit PV, Ruan van Wyk PV, Ruan Claasen HJ, Hubert de Beer HJ, Khotso Mokoena LJ, Zarck Visser LJ, Thumelo Thagane TJ, Burger Lambrechts SP, Orazio Cremona SP, Jaco Engelbrecht SP, Victor Hogan DT, Russel Tucker DT, Donovan Snyman DT, Chris Harmse HT, Jason Henning JT, Robert Oosthuizen JT, Bernard Crause JT, Zavion Kotze Dec, Willem Coertzen Dec, Nardus Greyling Dec, Marc Mundell 20km Walk.

Women: Tsholofelo Thipe 200m, 400m, Rorisang Ramonye 400m, Estie Wittstock 400m, Caster Semenya 800m, Mandie Brandt 800m, Mapaseka Makhanya 800m, 1500m, Lebogang Phalula, 1500m, Lebo Phalula 1500m, Rene Kalmer 5000m, Noleen Conrad 3000m St, Claudia Viljoen 100m H, Ansulet Potgieter 100m H, Wenda Theron 400m H, Janet Lawless 400m H, Anneri Ebersohn 400mH, Deone Joubert PV, Jeannie van Dyk PV, Juanita Stander PV, Anika Smit HJ, Bianca Erwee HJ, Patience Ntshingila LJ, TJ, Janice Josephs LJ, Lynique Prinsloo LJ, Charlene Potgieter TJ, Sonia Smuts SP, Elizna Naude DT, Maryke Oberholzer DT, Annemie Smith HT, Sunette Viljoen JT, Gerlize de Klerk JT.

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