Tebogo Mamathu and Thando Roto overcame chilly and wet weather conditions last night at the Elite d’ Herouvill Saint-Clair Meeting in France to win more medals for the South African cause in Europe this week.
The duo finished second and third in their respective 100-metre finals.
Veronique Mang (France) won the women’s 100m final in 11.55 seconds with Mamathu (Tuks) second in 11.60 and Eva Berger third in 11.83.
Roto (Tuks/HPC) refused to allow the cold to get to him, winning his heat in 10.36 and went even faster in the final, clocking a time of 10.31 for a third-place finish.
The 38-year-old Dwain Chambers, a former world indoor champion, won in 10.29 with Josh Swaray, also from Britain, second in 10.30.
Roto’s best time in the 100 metres is 10.27.
The last international competition for the two South African sprinters will be on Saturday when they will compete in Nivelles, Belgium.
Two weeks ago Roto won the 100m at a meeting in Salamanca, Spain. Unofficially his time of 10.15 was his best time ever and he would have qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio, but unfortunately the wind from behind (+2.6m/s) was too strong.
Roto was unable to compete during most of last season. He injured his hamstring tendon at a training session three days after he competed in his first league meeting. Strangely enough, this setback seems to have motivated him.
‘My coach, Hennie Kriel (Tuks/HPC), played a major role to keep me motivated.
‘He taught me to take responsibility for my own actions. He is a great motivator who knows how to get his athletes to perform at their best when it matters.”
According to Roto, being able to compete in Europe over the past four weeks was a good experience. ‘I’m quite happy with my performances. I have learnt that taking responsibility for my career is the key to success and that you have to be prepared for anything and everything here in Europe.’
Picture of Roto courtesy of Reg Caldecott