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SA’s sprint aces hunt more medals in Kenyan safari

medals

There were no further medals for the team, but South Africa’s gold and silver medal sprinters Tshenolo Lemao and Retshidisitswe Mlenga cruised into contention for more silverware at the IAAF World Under-18 Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday.

The speedy duo were taking part in the 200m heats and there were no scares for either.

Lemao won the second of four heats in 21.27sec for a 0.30sec advantage over Daniel Vejrazka of Czech Republic. In the previous heat Mlenga was runner-up in 21.31 as Brazil’s Arielton dos Santos won in a personal best 21.29. Mlenga’s personal best stands at 20.96sec.

Going into the semi-final Lemao is third fastest and Mlenga fifth behind France’s Paul Tritenne (21.08).

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In the distance events, cricketer turned athlete Robert de Villiers finished sixth in his 2000m steeplechase heat, his 5:59.82 good to qualify for Sunday’s final.

In track events Morne Brandon (56.53m) and discus bronze medallist Jonathan de Lacey Lacey (55.00m) both advanced to the final of the boys discus, taking place on Saturday.

Tharina van der Walt ended fourth in the girls discus final. Launching a 47.27m heave, she missed the podium by less than three metres.

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Had she matched her personal best of 50.85m, thrown earlier this year she would have been good for bronze.

Van der Walt will have another chance for a medal in the hammer final on Saturday.

In the girls 2000m steeplechase final, Shanley Koekemoer put up a fight against a strong East African onslaught, but had to settle for sixth place in 6:54.27.

Julian Bogner, was fourth in the boys long jump final on Thursday, ended eighth in his 110m hurdles semi-final in 14.10sec, not quick enough to progress.

Also going no further, was Angel Kivido finishing sixth in her first-round 200m heat in 25.93.

After three days of competition, the SA team have dropped from second to sixth in the standings with four medals (one gold, two silver and one bronze).

Pictures courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA


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