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Medals for relay teams

Team South Africa’s athletics team picked up another two medals at the World Student Championships in Shenzhen, China on Sunday.

The relays proved the perfect platform for the bulk of the relay who will be running at next week’s World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, to get their baton changes practiced as the mens 4x100m team won gold and the 4x400m won bronze.

Hannes Dreyer, Simon Magakwe, Jacob Sefenyentso and Thuso Mpuang combined to win the men’s gold medal in 39.25sec in the 4x100m relay. Of this quartet, only Sefenyetso is not included in the team that will race in Daegu. His place will be taken by Roscoe Engel or Lebogang Moeng.

The fact that three of the team could already race together before the World Championships will make the job of the coach and team a lot easier as there is already three-quarters of the partnership in place.

The same could be said for the men’s 4x400m relay team. Shane Victor and Willie De Beer are both part of the relay squad for the World Championships, and were instrumental in earning the Student team the bronze medal. De Beer and Victor combined with 800m athlete Andre Olivier and 400m hurdler PC Beneke to clock 3:05:61 for the bronze.

Having competed at the world Student Championships will have gone a long way to quieten any nerves de Beer or Victor may have had coming into the World Championships. The 4x400m relay team for Deagu is a formidable one with Athletics SA being able to chose from the above two, Oscar Pistorius, LJ Van Zyl, Cornel Fredericks and Ofentse Mogawane.

Van Zyl has the fastest time this year of the potential team with his 44.86sec run in Germiston in March this year. Pistorius clocked 45.07sec to qualify for the World Championships in both an individual and relay basis. Mogawane thrives in relay races, having been part of the silver medal winning team in Melbourne at the Commonwealth Games in 2006. Fredericks has proved he has speed as have Victor and de Beer.

For once it is a nice dilemma to have as a selector.


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