By Mark Etheridge
South African record holder Antonio Alkana is through to the semi-finals of the men’s 110-metre hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Running in heat three of five heats, the Western Cape athlete started fastest and finished strongly to run a time of 13.43sec and go through automatically as one of the first four finishers in the heat.
Alana has a personal best of 13.11 and may have to go pretty close to that if he is to come through Sunday evenings semis and make the final.
Winner of his heat was world record holder Aries Merritt, the American running 13.16 with Shane Brathwaite of Barbados second in 13.39.
Alkana’s time was 14th quickest through to the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, in the men’s marathon run through the city streets on a course of laps,
Desmond Mokgubu was first South African.
He was 21st in 2hr 16min 14sec as Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui won in 2:08:27.
Once again it wasn’t a day to remember for the rainbow nation’s marathon racers, as Sibusiso Nzima failed to finish and Lusapho April never even set foot on the course.
Team management put forward the explanation of visa problems, an issue difficult to fathom as April is a veteran international campaigner on the international circuit.
Picture of Alkana and Brathwaite in heats action courtesy of Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images