Nel seventh in 400m hurdles final as Palframan makes 200m semi-finals | TeamSA - TeamSA

Nel seventh in 400m hurdles final as Palframan makes 200m semi-finals

By Mark Etheridge

Wenda Nel did South Africa proud with a fighting seventh in the women’s 400-metre hurdles final at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China on Wednesday.
The Pretoria athlete was in touch with the world’s best for much of the race but once they hit the final bend she was unable to find another gear.
The field powered away from her down the main straight and she went on to finish in 54.4 as defending world champion Zuzana Heznova of the Czech Republic won in a world-leading 53.50 from the American duo of Shamier Little and Casandra Tate, 53.94 and 54.02 respectively.
Nel’s goal going into the championships was to make the final and although her time was some way off the personal best 54.37 she ran in the same city earlier this year, she’ll take heart going forward know that she is among the world’s top 10 400m hurdlers.
Earlier Justine Palframan put aside the disappointment of not making the 400-metre semi-finals when she booked her place in the 200m semis.
Running from the fifth lane in the afternoon’s second heat, Palframan got off to a flying start, her reaction time of 0.168sec, the fastest of all seven starters.
Looking comfortable around the bend, she maintained speed well to end a handy third in 23.09sec and gain automatic qualification to the semi-finals as the first three go through.
Her time was 0.13sec off her season and personal best 22.96.
Race winner was Cote D’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou in a personal-best 22.73 from American Jenna Prandini (22.95).
Palframan’s time was 21st of 24 qualifiers with the quickest being Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith in 22.22.