Mzazi, Ramolefi steal the show

2012-03-21 14:50

Stellenbosch - Distance runners Gladwin Mzazi and Ruben Ramolefi led the charge at the first Yellow Pages Series meeting of the season, narrowly missing the Olympic qualifying standards in their events in Stellenbosch on Tuesday night.

Ramolefi, the SA record holder in the men's 3 000m steeplechase, went out hard but faded in the latter stages, clocking 8:27.50 - a little more than four seconds off the qualifying standard.

"I lost concentration, but this is my first race since September last year, so I know it will come," Ramolefi said.

Dean Brummer finished second, taking advantage after Ugandan Jacob Araptany tumbled over a hurdle on the final lap, crossing the line in a personal best of 8:30.62.

Mzazi outsprinted Elroy Gelant in the men's 5 000m event, clocking 13:24.13.

"I felt bad in the early stages of the race and couldn't go with Elroy when he set a fast pace early on," Mzazi said.

"I think that is where we lost the 13:20 (qualifying standard) we were looking for."

Peter van der Westhuizen and Andre Olivier set the pace for most of the men's 1 500m race but it was evident from the gun that it was going to be a tactical affair.

With 700m to go the leaders were on 3:40 pace, but an injection by Van der Westhuizen saw it increase dramatically.

Molefe Molefe and Jerry Motsau were the only two athletes able to go with Van der Westhuizen, who held off Motsau by 0.21 seconds to win in 3:38.61.

Pierre de Villiers set a new SA record of 11:24.04 in the men's 3 000m walk, improving the previous record held by Chris Britz, while Luvo Manyonga, the pretender to Khotso Mokoena's national long jump crown, leaped 8.00m to edge Zark Visser by 5cm.

Rorisang Rammonye dominated the women's 400m race, securing a surprise victory in 51.98 to improve her personal best by 1.03 seconds.

The Yellow Pages Series now moves to Potchefstroom for the second of three legs on Saturday.