Olympic sprint sensation Usain Bolt opened his European track and field campaign with an awesome 9.77sec win in the 100 metres at the 48th Golden Spike grand prix meeting in Ostrava Wednesday.
Bolt’s blitz was just 0.08sec outside his own world record and, after a slow start, the Jamaican beat Britain’s Craig Pickering by a yawning 0.31sec.
But South Africa’s Beijing Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena, was also going about his business as he made it three long jump victories in a row.
Once again it was exactly 8.33m for the third consecutive time, missing his national record by 6cm.
Besides Mokoena, three South Africans qualified for the World Championships in Berlin in August.
A few days ago the SASCOC website said that 800-metre athlete Samson Ngoepe’s getting stronger. Last night he proved this as he lowered his personal best to an impressive 1min 45.17sec in the B race, placing fifth overall on the night. It’s Ngoepe’s third win in less than two weeks and must surely elevate him to a starting place in the SA team for Berlin.
Then there was Robert Oosthuizen, former world junior javelin champion┬á who qualified with an 81.18m.
Staying with the javelin and South Africa’s Commonwealth champion, Sunette Viljoen, qualified for the second time this year by placing fourth in 61.13m.
Other South Africans taking part were Thuso Mpuang, the African 200m champion disappointing with times of 21.14sec in the 200m and also last in the 100m B-race clocking 10.68 sec.
With in-form LJ Van Zyl having run two sub-49sec races in Europe, before deciding to head home for a quick break, 2009 SA champion Wouter le Roux started well in the 400m hurdles before fading to finish seventh in 51.70 sec.