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Alkana aces African hurdles record in Europe

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Antonia Alkana blasted his way to an African record in the 110-metre hurdles event at the Josef Odlozil Memorial meeting in Prague, Czech Republic on Monday evening.

Cape Town’s Alkana clocked 13.11 seconds to win his race and wipe out Lehann Fourie’s old mark of 13.24sec set five years back. The winning time was also a meeting record.

Another South African winner on the day was Olympian Wenda Nel who made sure of her qualification for the IAAF World Championships in London later this year with a 54.66sec win in the women’s 400m hurdles.

Nel described her race as the ideal start to her international campaign.  ‘It is only my second 400m-hurdles race of the season and I could feel it had been a while since I last competed in a 400m-hurdles race.

‘I think I executed my race fairly well. There are one or two small things in my technique I could work on so as to try and be a little bit faster but for now I’m satisfied. To have a victory under the belt was the confidence booster I needed,’ said the Tuks-athlete.

The last time she competed in the 400m-hurdles was at the South African Championships in Potchefstroom where she won in 55.16s.

Nel will be racing again in Rome on Thursday at the Diamond League Meeting.

‘Quite a few of the top athletes are competing so I guess a fast time could be on the cards. The challenge for me will be to try and stay with the race leaders. If I manage to do I might just surprise myself.’

Zuzana Hejnova (Czech Republic), a double world champion, and Sarah Petersen (Denmark), silver medallist at last year’s Olympic Games, are two of the top hurdlers who will be competing in Rome.

Meanwhile sprinter Thando Roto (Tuks) was third in the 100m last night. He clocked a time of 10.15. Mosito Lehata (Lesotho) won running 10.11. Rio Olympian Henricho Bruintjies (Tuks) did not qualify for the final.

Cornel Fredericks (Tuks) was third in the 400m hurdles running 49.42sec as Kasse Hann Mamadou (France) won in 49.02s. Lindsay Hanekom (Tuks) was fifth in a time of 50.63s which is a season’s best.

Hanekom admitted afterwards that he made a few tactical errors and it was only his second hurdles races of the season.


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