JOHANNESBURG – There has been some significant shifting in the national rankings in recent weeks, as athletes chase places in the SA team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April.
Former Olympic Long Jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena stuck up his hand ahead of the Games with a 16.65m leap in the Triple Jump competition at a League Meeting in Tshwane on December 2.
Though he was 70 centimetres short of his own national record, Mokoena's performance lifted him to second place in the Athletics South Africa (ASA) rankings this year in the discipline. He climbed to within 10 centimetres of current SA number one, Reneilwe Aphane.
Also in Tshwane on November 11, former World Championships 200m bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana, clocked 10.16 seconds over the 100m distance, climbing to seventh place in the national rankings and clipping 0.03 off the qualifying standard for the Games.
Two SA records were recently set in the Under-18 age group at domestic meetings in the Western Cape.
World Youth High Jump champion Breyton Poole, cleared 2.25m in Paarl on November 4, adding one centimetre to his personal best and equalling Jacques Freitag's national best.
In the process, he joined Chris Moleya in a tie for top spot in the latest 2017 ASA senior rankings.
Valco van Wyk, who finished fifth in the boys' pole vault final at the World Under-18 Championships at Nairobi in Kenya in July, set a national youth record of 5.22m in Paarl on 2 December, adding two centimetres to the nine-year-old national age group mark previously held by Cheyne Rahme.
He settled in second place, just three centimetres short of Niel Giliomee, in the ASA senior pole vault rankings. Poole and Van Wyk lifted the total number of national outdoor Track and Field records and bests set this year to 17.
Among the country's elite women, Jodie Sedras cleared 3.80m in Cape Town on November 4 to climb three centimetres clear of Kaitlyn Sparks at the top of the ASA Pole Vault rankings.
There was also plenty of movement in the Hammer Throw Women rankings, with Stephanie Greyling (57.92m) and Marga-Chene Coetzee (57.41m) securing second and third positions respectively in Tshwane on December 2, though they remained around six metres shy of top-ranked national record holder Letitia Janse van Vuuren.
African News Agency (ANA)