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Three World Cup gold medals for SA in London

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Three South African athletes won gold medals at the weekend’s inaugural Athletics World Cup in London, England, while five more individuals reached the podium in their events.

On Sunday night, world long jump champion Luvo Manyonga was in fine form in his specialist discipline.

With field events athletes limited to four attempts in straight finals, Manyonga was a model of consistency. After landing at 8.51 metres with his first leap, which would ultimately secure the win, he went on to jump 8.48m, 8.50m and 8.50m with his three remaining efforts.

Earlier, in the women’s 100m hurdles race, the in-form and recent setter of a national record, Rikenette Steenkamp bolted over the line to win gold in 12.88 seconds.

On Saturday’s opening day of competition, Olympic silver medallist Sunette Viljoen won the women’s javelin with a 61.69m throw.

In other disciplines, SA champion Luxolo Adams took second place in the men’s 200m race in 20.45 and US-based sprinter Derrick Mokaleng grabbed silver in the men’s 400m contest in 45.48. Discus thrower Victor Hogan also took the runners-up spot with a 63.73m heave.

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Carina Horn, captain of the SA team, was third in the women’s 100m race in 11.21 and sub-10 speedster Simon Magakwe earned bronze in the men’s short sprint in 10.11.

In relay races, the SA men’s 4x100m quartet of Magakwe, Adams, Antonio Alkana and Roscoe Engel – clocked 38.53 to finish third. The national men’s 4x400m team – Mokaleng, Thapelo Phora, Pieter Conradie and Zakithi Nene – took second position in 3:01.79, but were sadly later disqualified for a lane violation.

The SA squad were up against seven other countries at this, the Athletics World Cup, which used a point-based format to determine the final rankings, and the rainbow nation finished seventh overall.

The United States ended the two-day competition at the top of the standings.

Photos: Steenkamp, Viljoen and Mokaleng in London action, by Bryn Lennon/Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images


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