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Wayde stars on track

National junior 200-metre champion Wayde van Niekerk beat World Championships 4x400m silver medallist, Shane Victor in the men’s 300m as well as the talented Shaun de Jager at the third leg of the Yellow Pages Summer Series in Stellenbosch this week.

The last of the two Western Cape legs will be held in Parow on Saturday night.

Due to the number of athletes competing, two finals were held and placing was done according to times. In the first final, De Jager started well but it was Van Niekerk that came through first (33.32sec) with De Jager in 33.64sec.

In the second final, Victor had a great start but was running blind in lane seven, and although he won, his 34.03sec was only good enough for a third.

Brent Stevens (UWC) turned up a gear in Stellenbosch and finished the series with a double win as he claimed victory not only in the 60m, but also the 150m. He won the 60m in PE and again in Oudtshoorn where Leigh Julius (NMMU) and Sergio Mullins were always there to push him.

In an extremely close race with just a small edge over Julius, Stevens crossed the line in 6.77sec with Julius following in 6.78sec.  Ashford Motsau of Kovsies finished third in 6.83sec.

The absence of Julius and Mullins in the 150m meant far less resistance and Stevens was able to come in for a win.┬á ÔÇ£I did not expect to win the 150m at all, I surprised myself there, but I see winning both events as a great achievement for myself,ÔÇØ Stevens said when asked about winning both races.

Cindy Stewart, like Stevens, doubled up with a win in both women’s 60m and 150m, her closest rival being the youth athlete from Postmasburg and first athlete from the North Western Cape to win a medal at an SA Championship, Phillippa van der Merwe.

The 60m saw Stewart clocking 7.50sec with Van der Merwe following in 7.66sec. In the 150m, Stewart’s (NMMU) 17.91sec clocking assured her victory with Philippa van der Merwe and Sonja van der Merwe finishing in 18.21sec and 18.27sec respectively.

World junior and All Africa Games champion Luvo Manyonga showed some excellent form ahead of the 2012 athletics season as he easily bettered the 8m mark in the long jump.┬á Manyonga’s first flight measured 8.07m which got the crowd behind him, clapping and urging him on to jump even further.

But everything did not go according to plan and Manyonga’s next four attempts were all fouls as he overstepped the line.┬áHis closest competitor, UJ athlete Zark Visser, finished second with 7.52m at both his first and second attempt, before pulling out because of a hamstring injury.

Manyonga will get Saturday’s main programme underway at 4.30pm.


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