Van Niekerk, Alkana's good form sees them top national rankings | TeamSA - TeamSA
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Van Niekerk, Alkana’s good form sees them top national rankings

Van Niekerk

Sprinter Wayde van Niekerk and hurdler Antonio Alkana have been the star performers over the last few weeks, cementing their positions at the top of the national track and field rankings in their disciplines by making smooth transitions from the domestic season to the international campaign.

Though Van Niekerk has yet to enter the Top 10 list in the 400m event, he has increased his advantage at the top of the men’s 200-metre rankings in preparation for his double attempt at the IAAF World Championships in London in August.

The versatile speedster took 0.06 off his personal best by storming to a 19.84sec national record in Kingston, Jamaica on 10 June.

While World Championships bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana remained eighth in the half-lap list, he continued his steady comeback from injury by clipping 0.07 off his season’s best with a 20.62 performance at the World Challenge Meeting in Hengelo on 11 June.

Alkana moved clear at the top of the 110m hurdles ratings, smashing the SA record by 0.13 with a 13.11 victory in Prague on 5 June.

Meanwhile Henricho Bruintjies climbed to fourth place in the men’s 100m list after clocking 10.06 at the World Challenge in Turku on 13 June, while fellow sprinter Emile Erasmus rose to fifth position with a 10.08 personal best at a League Meeting in Pretoria on 14 May.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Constant Pretorius crossed the line in 49.28 in Pretoria, climbing to second spot in a competitive season.

The first four men in the SA rankings for the one-lap dash over the barriers were all within 0.08sec of Commonwealth champion Cornel Fredericks (49.27), while teenage prospect Kefilwe Mogawane clocked 49.91 in Pretoria, becoming the fifth man in the country this year to dip under 50 seconds.

In the men’s field events, former Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena proved he was still a force against his younger countrymen, rising to third place in the long jump rankings with a season’s best leap of 8.19m in Weinheim on 27 May.

Among the women, hurdles specialist Wenda Nel set a PB of 52.03 in Pretoria on 13 May, establishing herself at second place behind middle-distance star Caster Semenya (51.60) in the 400m rankings.

Nel also extended her lead in the national 400m hurdles ratings with a 54.58 season’s best at the Diamond League Meeting in Rome on 8 June.

Semenya is enjoying a fine run of form of her own, setting a world lead of 1:56.61 in the 800m event to win the Diamond League race in Doha on 5 May.

Elsewhere, distance runner Dominique Scott-Efurd clocked 4:12.48 over the 1 500m distance in Somerville on 3 June, lifting herself to top spot in the national ratings, more than four seconds ahead of second-placed Semenya.

Scott also charged to a personal best of 15:20.10 in the 5 000m race in Rome, moving well clear of the rest of her compatriots this year in the 12-and-a-half lap event.

* All national records are subject to standard ratification processes.


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