Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
SA TEAM IN FINE FORM ON DAY TWO
South Africa soared to the top of the table on Thursday, earning another 10 medals, including four gold, on day two of the African Senior Championships in Durban.
With three days of competition remaining, the national team had raked in a total of 12 medals (six gold, three silver and three bronze).
Boosted by strong tailwinds, Ruswahl Samaai and Luvo Manyonga dominated the men’s long jump final.
Samaai produced a best leap of 8.40m, and though he sailed two centimetres beyond his personal best, the wind prevented him from recording an official career record.
Manyonga took the silver medal with a best attempt of 8.23m.
“I know if I can be consistent the big jumps will come, like it did today. I’m just trying to improve with every jump,” Samaai said.
Facing tough conditions in the men’s discus throw, in-form athlete Victor Hogan grabbed gold with a 61.68m effort for his third African title, edging out compatriot Russell Tucker by 22 centimetres, with Tucker securing the silver medal.
“I’ve been sick for a whole week and I didn’t train, so I didn’t know what to expect today, and I’m happy,” Hogan said.
In the decathlon, Fredriech Pretorius took the top step on the podium, accumulating a personal best of 7 780 points.
Countryman Willem Coertzen, the African record holder, had led the gruelling two-day event with one of 10 disciplines remaining, but he was forced to withdraw due to a recurring ankle injury.
Coertzen nonetheless did enough to take the bronze medal with 7 196 points, despite skipping the 1 500m race.
Claudia Heunis delivered in style, charging to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles final in 13.35, clipping 0.01 off her previous career record.
“My main focus is to win, and I try not let that get into my head too much, but that was the focus today,” Heunis said.
“It’s my first major title, so I’m thrilled.”
Maryke Brits took bronze in 13.47, and though she was credited with the same time as junior star Taylon Bieldt, she was given the nod after officials turned to the photo finish.
Meanwhile, speedster Carina Horn charged down the home straight to grab silver in the women’s 100m final, clocking the second best time of her career.
Horn crossed the line in 11.07, missing the national record she shares with Yvette de Klerk by 0.01, with continental record holder Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast living up to her title as the pre-race favourite as she earned gold in 10.99.
Men’s national record holder Akani Simbine recovered from a poor start to finish third in the 100m dash in 10.05, with a +2.4m/s wind, with Ben Youssef Meite storming to victory in 9.95.