After an incredible season of Athletics, the Yellow Pages series has come to an end. This was the 6th season that Yellow Pages had sponsored the track and field events. The series finale was crowned off with an official handover ceremony that took place last week Tuesday.
Yellow Pages have added motivation to the Athletes to perform with the Pot of Gold on offer. The Pot of Gold is a R200 000 bonus for athletes who in post Olympic A qualifying standards at the 9 events in 2012. Last year it was won solely by LJ van Zyl, as it was set around the same premise of the Diamond League which the IAAF hosts. This year the criteria for the Pot of Gold were altered to be a bit more attainable and as a result 11 athletes emerged with their share of the Pot of Gold. The 11 athletes are:
LJ van Zyl – 400 metre hurdles
Sunette Viljoen – Javelin
Cornel Fredericks – 400 metre hurdles
Willem Coertzen – Decathlon
Caster Semenya – 800 metres
Simon Magakwe – 100 metres / 200 metres
Thuso Mpuang – 200 metres
Lebogang Moeng – 200 metres
Stephen Mokoka – Marathon
Tsholofelo Thipe – 200 metres / 400 metres
Khotso Mokoena – Long Jump
Zwelakhe Ndlovu, Yellow Pages Sponsorship Manager had the following to say:
“There is no question in our minds that we had a wonderful Yellow Pages series in 2012 and that has been amplified by the fact that 11 athletes have qualified for the prize money through the Pot of Gold. Some of our well known athletes have put in fantastic performances that we know they are capable of, while some of our younger athletes have also come shining through with eye-catching displays that certainly bodes well for the future of South African athletics.”
Of course there is a much bigger prize on offer in 2012 and that is competing at the London Olympics. LJ, Cornel, Caster, Sunette and Willem have already qualified with our 6 marathon runners. Simon, Lebogang, Thuso, Tsholofelo, Oscar Pistorious, Ruben Ramolefia and Wenda Theron have all completed one Olympic A-Qualifier time and will have to set another one in order to qualify for the Olympic games.
Whoever it is that does ultimately represent South Africa at the games, they are likely to be up there competing for medals. The increase in competitiveness and numbers can largely be attributed to the improved job of things at Athletics SA and the fantastic support the Yellow Pages are providing. Together we can achieve more.
All Photos are courtesy of Marcel Sigg and Maggie van Rhyn of Run Ride Dive. Pictures may not be reproduced without consent of the photographers. Pictures were taken at the Yellow Pages Series III event in Pretoria.