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SA athletes bring more sporting successes
- Updated: September 6, 2014
For a federation long embattled with internal strife South African athletics are certainly flying the flag on the international scene with some style, writes Mark Etheridge.
Following their successes at the Commonwealth Games where they won three gold medals, Boland athlete Gezelle Magerman kept the code in the spotlight at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China when her 400-metre gold in the girls’ 400m hurdles was South Africa’s sole medal at the event.
Friday night in Zurich saw more success come South Africa’s way.
Commonwealth Games triple jump champion Khotso Mokoena made more history in the final event of the IAAF Diamond League series in Brussels by becoming the first South African to top the Diamond League standings in any event.
In action in the long jump event on this occasion, he leapt 8.19m for a season’s best. In the same event Commonwealth Games silver medallist Zarck Visser took eighth spot with a 7.79 effort.
Also ending on the podium was javelin ace Sunette Viljoen who won silver on the night and bronze in the final standings.
Her 64.30m effort on Friday saw her playing second fiddle to Barbora Spotakova (67.99) but good for joint third in the series with Germany’s Linda Stahl. Last month she also took the African Championships title.
While there was no men’s 400m hurdles event on Friday night, that having been run at last week’s first leg of the final, Commonwealth gold medallist Cornel Fredericks had done enough for third spot in the overall standings.
In the seldom run 1000m, Andre Olivier clocked 2min 18.11sec for eight spot on Friday as Poland’s Adam Kszczot won in 2:15.72.
The only other South African in action on Friday was Wenda Nel in the women’s 400m hurdles and although she ran a solid race her 55.61 saw her trail home in ninth spot.
The next focus for the South Africans will be the Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco next week.