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Stephen wins silver

By Mark Etheridge

Multi-talented South African distance runner Stephen Mokoka claimed Team South Africa’s first medal in this year’s World Student Games when he won silver in the men’s 10,000-metre final in Shenzhen, China on Wednesday.

Mokoka who has shone over distances between 1,500m on the track to the marathon event on the road, ran 28min 53.09sec for his silver medal. The winner was Japan’s Suguru Osako who clocked 28:42.83 for a season’s best time.

Mokoka, 26, had gone into the final with the quickest time of the finalists with a 27:56.18. Mokoka is using the World Student Games to fine tune his preparations for the same event at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea later this month.

Earlier South African champion Simon Magakwe faded to seventh in the final of the men’s 100-metre event. Starting from lane eight, Magakwe, was slow out of the blocks, with the slowest reaction time of 0.245sec and went on to run a disappointing 10.49sec.

Previously, in the first of three semi-finals, the 26-year-old had ended third in a time of 10.32 making him the fifth fastest qualifier.

His time in the final was the slowest of his four races in the event. He ran 10.30 in the first round on Tuesday and 10.32 in the second run later in the day.

The final went to Jamaica’s Jacques Harvey in 10.14 who had the same time as second-placed Rtyis Sakalauskas (his time a national record).

One member of Team South Africa who was grinning from ear to ear was Nolene Conrad. She ran a personal best in the 3000m steeplechase heats to go through to the final. Her previous best was 10:05.30 and she ran 9:59.89 to finish sixth in the second race and book her place in the final as 10th quickest of the 12 qualifiers. Fastest qualifier was Turkey’s Binnaz Uslu who ran 9:47.29.

“I did it!!!! Ran a 9.59!! New PB!! I can hardly believe it! now I believe that anything is possible and I will go into my final on Friday night with that mentality!!! :) :)” Cape Town’s Conrad posted on her Facebook page after her race.

Edwin Molepe and Dean Brummer both went through to the final of the 3000-metre steeplechase. Molepe, 24, ended fifth in the second of two heats, clocking 8:50.04 while Brummer, son of well-known middle distance runner in the 1980’s Deon Brummer, was also fifth, in heat one. He clocked 8:53.32 meaning we now have two of the 12 finalists.

Top qualifier was Russia’s Ildar Minshin in 8:45.32.

PC Beneke went one step further in the men’s 400m hurdles when he was 20th out of 24 qualifiers for the next round.

Beneke clocked 51.92sec, 1.50sec off his season’s best but more than adequate to progress. American Jeshua Anderson was fastest through to the next round dipping under 50sec with a time of 49.78.

In the men’s 400m semis, there was no joy for Willie de Beer or Shane Victory with neither going through. De Beer clocked 46.59 to end fifth in the first of three semis while Victor ended third in a time of 46.48. Fastest into the final was Hungary’s Marcell Deak Nagy in 45.86.

In the women’s 400m semi-finals neither Rorisang Ramonnye nor Alet van Wyk were able to make the final. Ramonnye ran 54.71 to end eighth in the first semi and Van Wyk ran 55.03 to finish seventh in the second semi. Fastest qualifier into the semi was Russian Elena Migunova with a season’s best 52.03.


1 comments
Glen
Glen

Well done to Stephen on winning the first medal for South Africa at the Games.