Veteran South African hurdler Shaun Bownes opened his European campaign with fifth place in the 110 metre hurdles in Hengelo, Netherlands on Monday.
Bownes, who turns 39 later this year, clocked 13.72sec in a race won by Britain’s Andy Turner (13.30).
Bownes still holds the SA record with his 13.26sec, run in 2001.
Samson Ngoepe, the only other SA athlete at the main Dutch meeting of the year, clocked his fastest time of the year (1:46.42)┬á in a fast 800m which saw the first three runners go under 1 min 44 sec. Ngoepe’s time gave him ninth spot in the race won by Sudanese superstar, Abubaker Kaki (1:43.10)
Both Bownes and Ngoepe are hoping to qualify for the World Championships in Berlin.
The other South African in action last night was Juanee Cilliers who did pace-making duties in the women’s 1,500m.
She took the field through the first lap in 60.56sec before stepping aside with 500m to run and watching Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka stride to a comfortable 3:58.79 victory.