South African athletes produced some thrilling performances, putting up a fight on the track and in the field as they secured another 10 medals on day two of the CAA African Championships in Mauritius on Thursday.
Picture”- Cheswill Johnson, silver medallist in long jum at the African Senior Champs
In the men discus throw, Werner Visser and Victor Hogan wrapped up an impressive one-two for the SA team. Visser won gold with a best heave of 61.80m and former African champion Hogan earned silver with a 58.95m throw.
Meanwhile, in other field events, Cheswill Johnson bagged the silver medal in the men 39;s long jump (7.78m), Shannon Verster grabbed silver in the heptathlon (5 329 points) and Yvonne Robson secured bronze in the women’s high jump (1.79m). On the track, though they did not secure either title, SA sprinters made an impact in the men’s and women 39;s 100m finals.
In perhaps the most exciting race contested thus far at the continental showpiece, Akani Simbine missed out by the narrowest of margins in the men 39;s short sprint. Simbine, the defending champion, rocketed over the line in a season best 9.93 seconds, but he had to settle for the silver medal. Credited with the same time (9.93), Kenyan athlete Ferdinand Omanyala won gold by 0.003 after a photo finish had to separate the athletes. Former SA record holder Henricho Bruintjies also reached the podium,
finishing third in 10.01.
In the women’s 100m final, national record holder Carina Horn grabbed bronze in 11.14, with Gambian athlete Gina Bass taking the win in 11.08. In other track events, rising star Marione Fourie and experienced campaigner Antonio Alkana both secured bronze medals in the high hurdles. Fourie was third in the women’s 100m hurdles contest in 12.93 and Alkana finished third in the 110m hurdles in 13.59. while she didn’t pick up a medal, former 800m world champion Caster Semenya competed in her first championship race over the 5 000m distance. Semenya took sixth position in 16:03.24, nearly a minute outside a place on the podium, in a race won by Kenyan athlete Beatrice Chebet in 15:00.82.
After two days of competition at the five-day African Championships, the SA team had bagged a total of 14 medals (3 gold medals, 5 silver, 6 bronze). “It hasn’t been an easy day due to the weather, but the show goes on. Our athletes are doing everything to wrestle the overall title from Kenya, but the competition is far from over with some days to go. “It’s been another brilliant day of competition for us, because our national anthem was played and our flag rose once again.
We congratulate the athletes, coaches and the team management for the achievements of the day.
Our hashtags tell the story of our determination, #SAneedToWinIt and #BringItBackSA,” stated a beaming James Moloi, the President of Athletics South Africa.