Updated: August 13, 2016

Wayde van Niekerk (photo credit: Gallo Images

Four SA athletes coasted through the opening rounds of their respective events on Friday (local time), in the first evening session of the track and field competition at the Rio Olympics.

World 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk secured victory in his heat in 45.26 seconds to progress to the semifinals of his specialist event.

“It was quite nervy for me in the beginning, and I think the heats was just for me to shake off the nerves, and try and be in the best shape as possible for the semifinals. I feel quite comfortable and it was a good race.”

In the long jump pit, Luvo Manyonga (8.12m) and Ruswahl Samaai (8.03m) were the third and fourth best qualifiers for the men’s final.

Joint national 100m record holder Carina Horn finished second in her first-round race in 11.32 to reach the semifinals and Alyssa Conley, who was sixth in her heat in 11.57, was eliminated.