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Medals back at last

Ten Years After was the name of a prominent British rock band in the 1960s. It’s also the time frame that has finally seen four South African athletes seeing justice being done at last.

Athletics South Africa confirmed Monday that the organisation had received the bronze medals for the 4x400m relay team that finished fourth in the IAAF World Championships in Seville, Spain, in 1999.

This was because the United States team, who won the event, was disqualified after the suspension of Antonio Pettigrew, for a doping offence.

The South African team consisting of Jopie van Oudtshoorn, Hendrik Mokganyetsi, Adriaan Botha and Arnaud Malherbe, finished fourth in the 4x400m relay in this event in a new South African record time of 3:00.20.

“It is a just reward for the SA team after the outstanding performance we displayed in that country and before our opponents. We believe in fair play, and we deserve the award,”┬á Mokganyetsi told Sapa.

In accordance with the IAAF Competition Rule 40.11 the athletes are entitled to any additional or “top up” prize money and shall receive payment only once all relevant money has been received from the ineligible athlete. The medals will be awarded to the athletes in due course and details of the awarding ceremony will be announced later.