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SA sprint duo dash into semi-finals in China

By Mark Etheridge

Olympic finalist Anaso Jobodwana and joint SA 100m record holder Akani Simbine both sealed spots in the 200-metre semi-finals at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China on Tuesday.
Jobodwana won his heat, the final of seven heats, in 20.22 seconds to ensure automatic qualification as the first three in each heat went through to the semi-finals.
But Simbine, despite running a personal best 20.23sec in his fifth heat had an anxious wait for the next two heats to see his time was one of the next fastest three.
As luck would have it, this proved to be the case and he’ll join the 24 other semi-finalists in the next round.
The quickest qualifier came in the first heat as Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev ran a national record of 20.01.
Olympic champion and already world 100m champion in Beijing, Usain Bolt also cruised through with a 20.28 win in his heat as did Justin Gatliin (20.19).
Kenya’s Nicholas Bett won gold in the 400m hurdles, his time of 47.79sec a Kenyan record as Russia’s Denis Kudryavetsev faded in the final few metres to end second in 48.05 while Bahamas’ Jeffery Gibson took third in 48.17.
It was the first time in three World Championships that there hadn’t been a US athlete on the podium. For interest’s sake LJ van Zyl’s 48.80 which won him bronze in Daegu, four years ago, would have seen him end fifth in Beijing.


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