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Mulaudzi the sole survivor
- Updated: August 21, 2009
By Mark Etheridge
Olympic silver medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi went through to Sunday’s final of the men’s 800 metres at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Berlin Friday night.
But fellow South Africans Samson Ngoepe, Janice Josephs and John Robert Oosthuizen all exited the competition on a night marred by a torrential downpour.
The three 800m semi-finals were full of drama as three men went down in the first race, including the world’s faster man over two laps this year, Sudan’s Abubaker Kaki.
American Nick Symonds took full advantage to pile on the heat and win in 1min 45.96sec.
The second semi was won in 1:45.01 by┬á Yusuf Kamel of Bahrain as Mulaudzi desperately tried to barge his way through to the first two across the line and automatic qualifying but ended up fourth in 1:45.26, later proving to be good enough to go through to the final. Kamel was quickest of the qualifiers.
The third semi-final belonged to Moroccan Amine Laaloo who won in 1:45.27. Ngoepe lined up with a season and personal best of 1:45.17 to his name but faded badly to trail in last in 1:49.03.
Earlier Capetonian Joseph, a previous Olympian, reached 6.22m in the women’s long jump, not good enough to make Sunday’s final. Josephs placed 15th of 18 competitors in Group B, her other effort being a 5.75m. Top qualifier was Portugal’s Naide Gomes with 6.86m.
Oosthuizen also struggled in the javelin, placing 20th in his qualifying group with a 67.86m, way below his personal best, and all but propping up both qualifying groups.
And in the 4x100m relay the South African contingent finished last of six teams in the qualifying round.