Led by a golden run from Antonio Alkana, South Africa’s athletes bagged another four medals on the penultimate day of the African senior championships in Asaba, Nigeria on Saturday.
The four medals meant that SA kept themselves in the hunt for a successful title defence at the 21st African Championships.
Twenty-one is also the number of medals won by South Africa at these championships, which got off to tardy start with athletes dogged by visa and travel problems.
The medals include six gold, 10 silver and five bronze.
Alkana produced the South African highlight of the day, retaining his continental crown by winning gold in the 110m hurdles final in 13.51sec, well clear of the rest of the field.
Teammate Ruan de Vries crossed the line in sixth position (13.98).
‘I came here to defend my title and I finished in the top two, so I’m happy to have made the team for the IAAF Continental Cup [in Ostrava next month],’ said Alkana. ‘I’ll look forward now and focus on that.’
In other disciplines, Khotso Mokoena did well to snatch the silver medal in the triple jump, launching a leap of 16.83m with his last attempt while countryman Menzi Mthembu finished 12th with a 15.33m effort.
In the men’s pole vault, Valco van Wyk grabbed the runner-up spot with a clearance of 5.10m as teenager Ekhardt van der Watt took fourth after sailing over the bar at 4.90m.
Former World Junior Championships javelin medallist Jo-Ane van Dyk also did well to carry the national flag in the absence of injured compatriot Sunette Viljoen.
She took silver after delivering a best attempt of 53.72m.
In the hammer final, Tshepang Makhethe narrowly missed out on a medal with a 68.81m effort, falling just 10cm short of a place on the podium. Veteran Chris Harmse was fifth (68.71m) and Allan Cumming ended sixth (67.37m).
South Africa started Sunday’s final day of competition leading the medals table.
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images