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Nel, Simbine qualify for World’s and Gift gets SA record
- Updated: March 21, 2015
Both Wenda Nel and Akani Simbine have qualified for the IAAF Athletics World Championships in Beijing later this year.
The duo did the job at the Athletics Gauteng North Championships at Tuks.
Nel was impressive in the 400-metre hurdles, winning in a time of 55.20s. Myrtle Bothma (53.47) and Surita Febbraio (54.05) are the only South Africans to have run faster times.
Simbine set a personal best time by winning the 200m in 20.27s, proving again that he is in excellent form at the moment.
Gift Leatlelo from the TuksSport High School is the other sprinter who made the most of ideal conditions by breaking the South African youth record in the 200m. His winning time of 20.63 is 0.16s faster than Leigh Julius’s record of 20.79 set in 2002.
His training partner, Clarence Munyai, was second in 20.77.
Nel was satisfied with the way her race played out.
‘Because it was my first hurdles race of the season I did not start out that fast. I was testing the waters, getting a feel for the hurdles. The fact that I still felt strong towards the end of the race was gladdening because it showed that I am definitely capable of running faster times. Hopefully I can run sub-55 at the South African Championships in Stellenbosch,’ the hpc/Tuks athlete said.
Nel has been invited to compete at the World Challenge and her first international race will be on 20 May in Beijing.
Leatlelo was absolutely stunned by his own performance. After his victory he could still be heard muttering that he could not believe it. ‘It is the best day of my life.’
His big goal for the season is now to win a medal for South Africa at the Youth World Championships in Colombia.
LJ van Zyl completed his marathon of four races in 24 hours by finishing second in the 200m final in a personal best time of 20.71.
It was impressive to see him running faster and faster times during the past couple of hectic days. He won his semi-final in a time of 20.85s.
‘Pure enjoyment to be running,’ is how the hpc/Tuks explained his speedy performances.
Van Zyl won the 400m-hurdles on Thursday night in Sasolburg in 49.26s and in doing so qualified for a second time for the World Championships.
Duwayne Boer won the long jump with a distance of 7.63m.
Picture of Leatlelo by Reg Caldecott