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Harmse gets silver

By Mark Etheridge
in Maputo

Giant hammer thrower Chris Harmse missed out on his fourth All Africa Games gold medal by just 10 centimetres here on Wednesday.

Harmse threw a season’s best of 74.66 metres with his third effort and it was only late in the competition that Egypt’s Mostafa Elga overtook the South African with the winning throw of 74.76m.

“It’s still a season’s best for me and is a B-qualifier for the Olympic Games,” said Harmse, who was watched by his proud father, who had travelled down from Sasolburg to watch his son throw.

“I really wanted to make it four All Africa Games golds in a row but it wasn’t to be this time. It’s never nice being beaten but the better man won on the night and I’m proud to be representing my country… and I’m still enjoying my athletics,” said 38-year-old Harmse.

Harmse’s medal was one of two silver medals in track and field on Wednesday, with Elizna Naude grabbing the other in the women’s discus.

These two medals go with the gold won by the men’s beach volleyballers (v Angola) and silver by the women’s team (v Mauritius) earlier in the day.

The total medal count now stands at 133 and it’s virtually a mathematical impossibility for South Africa to be overhauled with just three days of competition left at these 10th All Africa Games.

Naude, who celebrated her 33rd birthday on Wednesday, would have obviously liked a golden celebration but her best throw of 53.63 with her opening attempt, ended up being almost three metres short of gold, won by Ivory Coast’s Kazai Kragbe (56.56m).

Also on the track, Wenda Theron moved into the finals of the women’s 400m hurdles when she placed second in the second semi-final with a time of 58.25sec. Lebogang Moeng ended seventh in his 200m final and looked to have missed out on a spot in the final.

Earlier the men’s 400m final had been won by Algeria’s Aberrahmane Hamadi in 50.48sec, a time that our
World Championships bronze medallist LJ van Zyl and finalist Cornel Fredericks would normally beat 99 times out of 100.

Also on Wednesday two of our taekwondo competitors lost out. In the 54kg category Lesego Maponyane lost on sudden death to his opponent from Ghana in the first round. Gopolong Mokoka, fighting in the 74kg class, won his first round 21-15 (v Ghana) and then lost 6-9 to his Tunisian rival.

On the tennis front top seeded Chanel Simmonds is into the semis after her Egyptian opponent, Magy Aziz had to retire in  their last eight clash due to illness but our No3 seed Natasha Fourouclas lost out in the last eight, going down in three sets 6-4 3-6 4-6 to another Egyptian player, Mayar Sherif.

And in the chess competition, our men’s team won their eighth round clash against host nation Mozambique by a 2.5 to 1.5 margin.


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