Africa championships hand SA athletes last chance

Semenya, Moloi and Xaba still to qualify for Olympics

Reabetse Moloi wins Final Women Senior 100m during day 2 of the ASA Senior Track and Field National Championships at Tuks Athletics Stadium on April 16, 2021 in Pretoria.
Reabetse Moloi wins Final Women Senior 100m during day 2 of the ASA Senior Track and Field National Championships at Tuks Athletics Stadium on April 16, 2021 in Pretoria.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

South African athletes who are still harbouring hope for last minute qualification for the Olympic Games, will get what appears to be the final opportunity in the African Senior Athletics Championships in Algiers, Algeria, on June 1-5.

SA women's 100m champion Reabetswe Moloi, Thando Dlodlo, Sokwakhana Zazini, Luxolo Adams, Tsebo Matsoso, Caster Semenya and Glenrose Xaba are among top athletes who are still to qualify ahead of  the end of June deadline. Xaba has to run the time of 31:12.49 or below to qualify for women’s 10,000m.

Semenya will run the 5,000m event and needs to clock 15:09:82 to qualify for the Games. Moloi said she was happy for the opportunity as she could not afford to travel to Europe where there are more races to qualify.

She needs to the 100m in 11.10 seconds to qualify for Tokyo Olympics.

“I am looking forward to the African championship as it will provide me with a rare chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by going there to try my luck. I am in great shape and confident that I can run a qualifying time," Moloi told Sowetan.

Dlodlo needs to clock 10.03 to follow in the footsteps of Gift Leotlela, who qualified for the Games at the University Sport SA (USSA) three weeks ago.

“The Olympic Games are the biggest sporting event in the world and I want to see myself taking part. I see this as another chance to push myself and run the qualifying time," said Dlodlo.

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