Updated: August 24, 2015

Wenda Nel (photo credit: Reg Caldecott/HPC)

It was a day of highs and lows at the World Championships on Monday, with two SA athletes reaching finals and three medal hopefuls bombing out in the opening round of the men’s long jump in Beijing.
Commonwealth Games silver medallist Wayde van Niekerk charged to victory in his 400m semifinal, clocking 44.31 seconds as he booked his place in Wednesday’s chase for podium positions.
Nel, the African champion, grabbed second spot in her 400m hurdles semifinal in 54.63, building on her impressive form this season and giving herself a fighting chance of upsetting the medal favourites.
There was disappointment, however, for the rest of the SA contingent on the third day of competition.
Long jumpers Khotso Mokoena (7.98m), Zarck Visser (7.79m) and Ruswahl Samaai (7.79m) were all knocked out in the qualifying round.
Mokoena, a former World Championships silver medallist, was unlucky to miss out on countback.
Radek Juska of the Czech Republic also leaped 7.98m but he progressed with two legal jumps, while Mokoena stepped over the mark twice.
Carina Horn, who had narrowly missed out on breaking the national 100m record in the heats, ended sixth in her semifinal race.
While she produced a strong finish, crossing the line in 11.15, it was not enough to progress in a highly competitive event, with all eight qualifiers for the final dipping under 11 seconds.
Fellow speedster Justine Palframan, the World Student Games champion, took sixth place in her first-round heat in the women’s 400m in 52.45, and she was eliminated, along with Javelin thrower Rocco van Rooyen who ended 28th in the qualifying round with a best effort of 75.55m.

* See our Results section for results of all finals, and visit our Flash News section for the schedule of SA athletes