Field EventsWorld class South African field athletes might just steal the show at this weekend’s ASA National Championships in the scenic Stellenbosch. The Long Jump, Triple Jump, Javelin-Throw, High Jump, Discus, Shot-Put and Hammer-Throw events will create quite a stir as the best in the country battle it out in the hope of achieving the Olympic qualifying standard.

The men’s Long Jump event boasts with some of the best jumpers in the world and will most likely steal the show on Saturday. Ruswahl Samaai, Dylon Cotter, Luvo Manyonga, Godfrey Mokoena and Zarck Visser will headline this event and it seems Mokoena’s record of 8.50m will be on the cards. Samaai, Cotter and Manyonga who already broke the 8m barrier and qualified for Rio are the clear favourites to win on Saturday, but Visser and Mokoena should not be forgotten; that being said, 2015 bronze medallist in this event, Koketso Mogapi, has proven himself as one of the best in the country and he surely is capable of another podium position. Whilst the men will have it tough to get on the podium, the women’s Long Jump event will be a battle between Lynique Prinsloo, Zinzi Chabangu, Carla Marais, Maryke Britz and Samantha Pretorius. Prinsloo boasts with a season’s best of 6.69m in which she missed the Olympic qualifying mark by a mere 1cm, thus leaving her competitors trailing quite a distance behind her. Zinzi Chabangu, on the other hand, has returned to form when she jumped a 6.26m season’s best at last week’s Varsity Athletics meet, making her the second best jumper on paper heading into nationals. Prinsloo has been showing great form and this weekend’s national championships platform will be the best opportunity for her to achieve her long-standing goals.

The men’s Hammer-throw event is sure to provide a show when twenty time’s national Hammer-Throw champion, Chris Harmse, will look to get over the 77m mark! Harmse managed to throw a huge 72m leap at last week’s Sasol-NWU International meet, making him the clear favourite win the men’s Hammer-Throw event AGAIN. The young up-coming 70m thrower, Tshepang Makhete, however, will make it a difficult task with his Hammer-Throw built and almost flawless technique. In the women’s Hammer-throw, Stefanie Greyling is the favourite, but can she get over 60m or possibly 65m? Let’s see this weekend.

Russel Tucker and Victor Hogan will not have an easy battle as both these strong stars will keenly eye the 65m mark in the men’s Discus-Throw. Both these athletes are in good shape and we might just witness something special when the Discus soars out of the circle onto the grass. The grass will look greener for Orazio Cremona, on the other side, if he gets another leap of over 20m in the men’s Shot-Put event; and coming back from an injury and also hoping to get well over the 20m mark is Jaco Engelbrecht. Chad Herman will have to battle it out with Rocco Bosman if he wants to win the men’s national title he so eagerly want to add to his name. Herman heads to SA’s (as it’s known by the athletes) with a 75m throw, therefore encouraging him to do something special to produce a throw of over 80m, whilst Bosman from Western Province has been very quiet…is it perhaps a strategy? We will have to wait and see. On the women’s side of things, it seems like Sonja Smuts and Sunette Viljoen will be in a class of their own in the women’s Shot-Put and Javelin Throw events respectively. The World Championships medallist, Viljoen, will throw anything over 60m, thus adding another national title to her tally, whilst Smuts is the clear favourite to win the women’s Shot-Put event. The versatile Discus and Shot-Put athlete, Ischke Senekal, is also in great shape leading to nationals, so expect something great from her.

The men’s Triple Jump event could be a one man show as 2008 Olympic silver medallist Godfrey Mokoena tries to go better than 16.85m to get a spot on the Olympic team. Mokoena, however, will get great competition from the exciting young triple Jump star, Menzi Mthembu who hopes to beat his season’s best of 16.43m! Trying to jump higher, will be High Jumpers Chris Moleya,Mpho Links, Clyde Ruiters, Garth Ellis and the ladies Julia du Plessis and Geraldine king.

Are you to see some ‘strong’ performances? Well, see you this weekend.

 

Written by Reggie Hufkie