Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
VAN NIEKERK WINS AGAIN IN LONDON
Sprinter Wayde van Niekerk shone again on Saturday, spearheading a solid all-round performance by a nine-member South African contingent at the two-day Diamond League meeting in London.
Van Niekerk, who has smashed the national 200m and 400m records with breakthrough performances this season, charged to victory in 44.63 seconds in his specialist full-lap event, well clear of American David Verburg who finished second in 45.01.
Van Niekerk remained second in the overall Diamond League 400m standings, two points behind world and Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, LJ van Zyl continued his impressive comeback season by taking second place in 49.27, with compatriot Cornel Fredericks settling for ninth spot in 51.22.
Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley of the United States held off Van Zyl to win in 49.02.
African champion Zarck Visser also grabbed second spot in the men’s long jump, with a best leap of 8.21m, and training partner Khotso Mokoena equalled his season’s best of 8.16m for fourth place.
American national champion Marquis Dendy secured victory with an 8.38m effort, and Olympic champion Greg Rutherford of Great Britain split the South Africans by grabbing third (8.18m).
Former World Championships bronze medallist Sunette Viljoen built on her consistent form in the build-up to next month’s global spectacle in Beijing, though she had to settle for fourth position in the women’s javelin throw with a 63.14m attempt.
Latvian record holder Madara Palameika of Latvia defeated a strong field to win with a 65.01m throw.
On Friday night, Anaso Jobodwana had taken second place in the men’s 200m race in 20.20 seconds.
Jobodwana slipped one place to second overall in the Diamond League standings in the half-lap event, one point behind Zarnel Hughes of Great Britain who won in the English capital in 20.05.
Wenda Nel put up a fight in wet conditions to end fifth in the women’s 400m hurdles event in 54.81, with world champion Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic storming to victory in 53.99.
Middle-distance runner Elroy Gelant stuck to the main group for most of the men’s 3 000m race but was unable to react to a late sprint and took 11th place in 7:47.35.
Mo Farah of Great Britain, the Olympic and world champion over 5 000m and 10 000m, earned the win in 7:34.66.