Mpuang makes it four | SASCOC - SASCOC

Mpuang makes it four

Thuso Mpuang picked up Team SA’s fourth athletics medal at the World Student Games in Shenzhen, China on Friday when he took silver in the men’s 200-metre final, writes Mark Etheridge.

Mpuang, who celebrated his 26th birthday earlier this month, has more reason to celebrate as he ran his second fastest time of the year, 20.59, to secure silver. His best this season is 20.55  and his personal best stands at 0.02sec quicker.

It took a personal best from Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer to take gold in 20.20 while countryman Jason Young took bronze, clocking the same time as the South African. Before Friday’s final, Dwyer’s best was 20.49.

Mpuang had gone into the race slightly worried about tight hamstrings but this result will be a huge boost ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea starting next week.

The Free State athlete’s work in Shenzhen is still not done though as he has relay action to come.

The SA athletes now have four medals at the Games with gold from Sunette Viljoen in the javelin, silvers by Mpuang and by Stephen Mokoka in the men’s 10,000m and a bronze from Justine Robbeson, also in the javelin.

Meanwhile in the final of the womens’ 3000m steeplechase, Nolene Conrad was unable to improve on her personal best run of 9:59.89 earlier in the week.

She’d dipped under 10min for the first time but on Friday had to settle for ninth in the final in a time of 10:02.32 as Turkey’s Binnaz Uslu won in a personal best 9:33.50.

Also on Friday Pieter Crous ended 11th in a 12-strong field in the men’s javelin. He only managed two throws, best of which was a 73.75 as Turkey’s Fatih Avanwon in 83.79.

And in the men’s 800m heats Tlou Seloba and Andre Olivier both came through the first round heats. Seloba clocked 1:50.41 and Olivier 1:51.02 as they ended 13th and 17th fastest of the 24 qualifiers for the second round.