Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
VAN NIEKERK BREAKS AFRICAN 300M RECORD
Wayde van Niekerk smashed the African record over the rarely run 300m distance on Sunday, securing a comfortable victory at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham.
The 22-year-old South African crossed the line in 31.63 seconds, with five-time World Indoor Championships medallist Chris Brown of the Bahamas settling for second place in 31.99.
Van Niekerk knocked 0.11 off the 29-year-old continental mark held by former Olympic silver medallist Gabriel Tiacoh of the Ivory Coast, as he climbed to 10th place in the global all-time rankings.
He also chopped more than half a second off the previous SA record of 32.15 set by Morne Nagel in Bellville in December 2006.
Meanwhile, Stephen Mokoka became the first South African athlete to finish on the podium in a Diamond League race over any distance ranging from 3 000m to 10 000m.
In the absence of compatriot Elroy Gelant, who was forced to withdraw after struggling with visa issues, Mokoka took third place in the men’s 5 000m race in 13:20.22.
Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya broke clear of the rest of the field to win in 13:07.26, with Mokoka edging out former Olympic bronze medallist Edwin Soi to grab the final place on the podium.
In the men’s long jump, Khotso Mokoena took fifth position with a best leap of 8.10m, while training partner Zarck Visser ended eighth with a 7.74m attempt.
Olympic champion Greg Rutherford of Great Britain secured victory with a season’s best of 8.35m.