Norman Joseph wins by a whisker

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NORMAN Joseph, a lieutenant colonel with the South African Police Services and former crime reporter on a Cape Town newspaper, knew how to give chase and win the race.

In 1977, the South Peninsula Amateur Athletics Club athlete beat the likes of champion athlete and record holder Wilfred Daniels (of the Elsie’s River Amateur Athletics Club) in the men’s 1500m race at the Allenby Drive sports fields in Retreat.

The article, in Afrikaans, describes how Joseph surprised Daniels a few strides from the winning line to win the event in a time of 4 min 22.5 seconds.

Norman Joseph
Norman Joseph.

Joseph competed during the wonderful era of athletics, including competitors Andrew Ferguson, Christy Davids, Norman Willis, Gavin Benjamin, John November, Derick van Dieman, Freddie Williams and Hendrick Klaase.

In the women’s sprints section, they had Sharon Hanslo, Sharon Alexander and Ruwayda Henri. Olga Howard competed in the 800m.

The junior women’s section included Glenda Schaffers, Denise Haupt and Lynette Jeneker in the sprints, and Ronel Juries in the 800m.

The men’s sprints featured names such Mohammed Paleker, Andy James and Allan O’Ryan.

The junior athletes included Edmund Lewis, Oscar Bernado, Lincoln George, Ian Rutgers and Russell Lykert.

Geoffrey Crowster and Colin Anders provided competition for each other in the walk events, together with the Boland race walkers.

The decade of the 1970s was packed with highly talented athletes who had to battle against the apartheid state and poor athletics facilities.

Some athletes who defected from the South African Amateur Athletics Board became champion athletes with the South African Amateur Athletics Union. Neither side of the apartheid divide had access to international sports because of the race laws in South Africa between 1940 and 1994.

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