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Two more join the fray

Two-lappers Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Samson Ngoepe continue the South African medal chase in the semi-finals (8.30pm SA time) in Friday’s IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Berlin, Germany.

Both went through to the evening’s 800m semis on Thursday, Mulaudzi automatically and Ngoepe courtesy of being one of the fastest of the rest.

“Everyone’s motivation is up – that’s why we are running so hard now,” said Ngoepe of the team’s reaction to Caster Semenya’s golden 800m race on Wednesday night.

The 800m final is on Sunday, the closing day of the competition.

Khotso Mokoena, South Africa’s only medallist (silver) at the last Olympics, cruised into the long jump final on Thursday, needing only one leap of 8.29m. The automatic qualifying mark was 8.15m and he only needed one legitimate jump to reach that.

That made him third best qualifier behind American Dwight Phillips and Britain’s Greg Rutherford.

Said Mokoena, “There are eight single-minded people there in the final. It will be a hell of a war and the person with the greatest weapons; the person who wants it most and is hungry is going to get it.”

Also in action Friday evening (there’s no morning track session) are Cape athletes Janice Josephs (6pm) and Robert Oosthuizen (6.15pm), who are both in qualifying rounds. Oosthuizen in the javelin and Josephs in the long jump.


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