15 February 2019, was the start of the 2 day Combined Events and Open Meeting held at 2 seperate Stadia. With a rare windless evening in Parow, the expectations could have been for great performances, but maybe due to it being evening and the end of a week, it was not totally to be. Yusuf Ismail clocked a 10.90s in the 100m though, followed closely by Fabio Palmeri in 10.92. Olympian Justine Palframan held off Nabeela Parker in the Women's sprint, taking the win in 11.98s. It was the 1st event of the year, in fact, in quite a while, where legal wind speeds were recorded.
6 Athletes lined up for the 10 000m open race held at 21:10 the evening and the conditions were brilliant. Of the 6 who lined up, 4 ran personal bests. Gershwin Hakeem van Staden took the win in 32:58.39, followed by Fernando Spondo in 33:09.98. Nolubabalo Dyonase, the lone woman in the race, managed to go sub40 on the track, a 1st for her. I have to admit here that a good 10km on the track is one of my favourite events to watch and comment on.
On day 2 proceedings moved to a blustery Green Point Stadium. Justine continued in the same form. On paper she was the fastest with a time of 24.41s, running faster than Shannon Arendse's 1st race's time of 25.83, with both runners sprinting in the tight lane 1. Two star sprinters in seperate races was a bit of a mystery, Simon Magakwe was showing a bit of winter rust when he was handed a defeat to Gardeo Isaacs in the Men's 200m sprint, Gardeo taking it in 21.03s.
The Middle Distance runners didn't seem too perturbed by the wind with a fast 800m for men going Duran Faro's way in 1:52.21 and Elise Groeneveld showing how it is done in the Women's run in 2:11.65.
Llewellyn Groeneveld took victory in the 1500m for men, clocking a good 3:48.99, with Sibusiso Magwaza coming 2nd in 3:50.96. Thinke Cloete held off Leanda du Bruyn in the Women's Metric Mile, winning it in 4:26.04. Athemba Nqumashe and Kharnya Francis of Bottelary both went sub 5min for the Juniors in the same race.
In the 3000m for Women, Kyla van Graan showed her class by winning in a time of 9:36.76, but in what has to be the race of the weekend and in my opinion, so far the performance of the current season, Ashley "Blockie" Smith ran the run of his life in the 3000m for Men. Only after the halfway stage did it look like he was pushing the pace. He crossed the line in 8:05.57. Now, I have always used Hans van der Veen's u/17 and u/19 old National Record of 8:08 and change as a standard to measure performances, so Ashley ran absolutely supurb. We will now wait to see how his season progresses further. Rowaldo Ratz came home in 2nd in 8:19.58 and Andre Afrika in 3rd for the Men in 08:32.15. No less than 9 runners clocked a sub 9min performance, which i guess is somewhat poetic.
Story by Brian John Records