Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
DIAMOND LEAGUE WINS FOR SEMENYA AND VILJOEN
Caster Semenya and Sunette Viljoen carried a strong South African contingent on Friday night, earning victories at the opening leg of the Diamond League series in Doha.
Semenya ran a well-judged race, sitting patiently in the pack before launching an attack down the home straight to win the women’s 800m contest in a season’s best of 1:58.26.
Viljoen was equally impressive, with the World Championships bronze medallist bouncing back into form after a sedate start to the season.
She took the lead with a 65.14m heave in the first round, which was good enough for the win.
In other disciplines, in-form Victor Hogan produced a 65.59m effort to take third place in the men’s discus throw, building on his superb early form in a breakthrough campaign and proving he could deliver against world-class opposition.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, Wenda Nel went out hard and was lying second off the final bend, but she faded over the last hurdle and settled for fourth position in 55.18.
Middle-distance runner Dumisane Hlaselo again missed out in his attempt to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
In a slow race by international standards, with the entire 1 500m field allowing Kenyan Asbel Kiprop to break clear and tear away for an easy win, Hlaselo fought hard to stay with the group and ended ninth in 3:36.65, missing the required standard for the Games by 0.45.
Antonio Alkana finished eighth in the men’s 110m hurdles race in 13.50, and the SA 4x400m relay team did not finish the race in their maiden attempt to book a spot in the national Olympic team.
The second leg of the Diamond League series will be held in Shanghai on May 14.