Thursday, 13 July 2017 09:57

SA claim two medals at U18 Champs

The South African team opened their campaign in spectacular fashion on Wednesday, securing top spot in the medals table after the first day of competition at the IAAF World U18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

Competing in wet conditions, sprinters Tshenolo Lemao and Retshidisitswe Mlenga earned gold and silver respectively in the Boys 100m final.

The duo scooped the nation's first ever medals in a world championship event over the short-sprint distance, with Lemao clocking 10.57, holding off Mlenga by just 0.04. Jamaican speedster Tyreke Wilson settled for bronze in 10.65.

"It feels good to win the first gold of the championship for South Africa," Lemao said afterwards. "I came prepared for the race after finishing second in my semifinal."

Though he had entered the race as the favourite, after clocking the fastest time in the semifinals (10.37), second-placed Mlenga was delighted to step on the podium.

“No disappointment and I have no excuses. They beat me fair and square, and I’m happy I was able to get a medal,” he said.

Both Lemao and Mlenga are scheduled to run the heats of the 200m on Friday.

Infield, Meike Strydom was in the form of her life, producing a personal best heave of 16.40m to finish fifth in the Girls Shot Put final.

In the Girls 3 000m final, Dipuo Mashishi struggled to put up a fight in tough conditions, though she gritted her teeth and pushed hard to take 12th place in 11:06.60.

Sprinters Rose Xeyi (12.18) and Joviale Mbisha (12.27) also displayed good form in the Girls 100m heats, with both athletes progressing to Thursday's semifinals.

In the Boys 800m heats, Ntuthuko Ndimande went out hard but struggled to mount a challenge down the finishing straight. He took fourth position in his race in 1:56.16 and missed out on a place in the final.

Earlier, in the morning session, Tharina van der Walt booked her place in the Girls Discus Throw final, to be held on Friday. She launched a 48.81m heave with her first attempt in the qualifying round, progressing automatically to the medal contest.

"Congratulations to all our young athletes who competed today, especially our new generation of sprinting stars," said Athletics SA President, Aleck Skhosana. "We are proud of their historic achievement. Well done also to all parents who travelled all this way to support their children. We thank the coaches for ensuring they arrived well-prepared."


Saids warns about a hebal supplement

South African athletes have been warned against the use of a specific supplement which contains traces of anabolic steroids.

According to the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids), an independent laboratory analysis of the herbal supplement Biogen Testoforte conducted at the SA Doping Control Laboratory in the Free State revealed the presence of three different anabolic steroids that were not listed on the product label.

"Consumers and athletes alike are cautioned on the use of dietary supplements, including herbal formulations, and products claiming to have testosterone stimulating capacity or other hormone-like effects, even if it claims to do so "naturally" and "safely", i.e. without side effects," Saids stated in an advisory.

"The formulations in these types of products have not been clinically tested to prove their claims of efficacy or safety/side-effects."

Aside from potential health risks, by taking these supplements athletes also stand the risk of testing positive for substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) List of Prohibited Substances, and receiving a ban from the sport.


Lemao wins SA’s first gold medal

Tshenolo Lemao won South Africa’s first gold medal at the IAAF World Youth Championships (under-20) in Nairobi tonight winning the 100m in 10.57s.

It was a one-two for South Africa in the final as Retshidisitswe Mlenga was second in 10.61s with the pre-race favourite, Tyreke Wilson (Jamaica) third in 10.65s.

“I am definitely over the moon. It was a great race to win,” said the 16-year-old learner from TuksSport High School moments after his victory.

The conditions were far from ideal as it started to rain just before the final. However, Lemao was never going to allow that to get to him. He is a firm believer in controlling the controllable.

“I was excited when I started to settle down in my starting blocks. The only thing I wanted to do was to run. I knew the conditions would be tough, but I told my myself to stay calm and focused.”

According to Lemao, he was motivated after the semifinals as he got to run only the third fastest time. He finished second in his semifinal heat running 10.50s.

“Afterwards I told myself to refocus on what matters, and that is to to win a medal for South Africa.”

Before he left for Nairobi Lemao was slightly worried as to how he would perform on the international stage.

“In the 100m I feel at times that I get over excited over concentrating before I race that leads to me messing up my race.”

Testing himself against the stopwatch was not always Lemao’s first passion. At first, he was an avid hockey and cricket player. At primary school, he earned his provincial colours in hockey, and he used to be a handy, fast bowler.

“What I love about sprinting is that you get to test yourself all the time. There is always the question as to fast you can really run,” said the TuksSport High School Learner.

He ascribed his success to hard work.


South Africa Names World Championships Team

A 22-member preliminary team has been announced by Athletics South Africa (ASA) for next month's IAAF World Championships in London, England.

The squad includes all four of the country's Track and Field medallists at last year's Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, with 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, Long Jump athlete Luvo Manyonga, 800m runner Caster Semenya and Javelin Throw’s Sunette Viljoen spearheading the team.

They will be joined by a number of other medal contenders, including in-form sprinter Akani Simbine, Long Jump’s Ruswahl Samaai and Antonio Alkana 110m Hurdles.

Athletes who have not been included in the squad will have until the end of the qualifying window of July

23 to achieve the ASA A-standard in their respective disciplines to book themselves a place in the Final Feam.

The 16th edition of the biennial IAAF World Championships will be held in the English capital from 4-13 August 2017.

“This is the time for athletes who are still searching for a qualifier to show their mettle,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of ASA.

“Work harder and don’t give up. There is still a chance for anybody who want to represent the Rainbow Nation at this global premier event.”

TEAM

MEN

100m: Akani Simbine, Thando Roto

200m: Akani Simbine, Wayde Van Niekerk, Clarence Munyai, Ncilini Titi

400m: Wayde Van Niekerk

Marathon: April Lusapho EPA, Sibusiso Nzima CGA, Desmond Mokgobo CGA

100m H: Antonio Alkana

Long Jump: Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai, Zarck Visser, Khotso Mokoena

Shot Put: Oratio Cremona, Jaco Engelbrecht

Javelin Throw: Rocco Van Rooyen

WOMEN

100m: Carina Horn

800m: Caster Semenya

Marathon: Mapaseka Makhanya, Jenna Challenor

400m H: Wenda Nel

Javelin Throw: Sunette Viljoen


SA Track & Field: Steenkamp races to 4th victory in Europe

The South African 100m-hurdles-champion, Rikenette Steenkamp, raced to her fourth victory in Europe last night when she won in Gothenburg.

As has become the norm this season the wind again was a definite factor. The Tuks/HPC-athlete ran into a headwind of 1.2 meters per second winning in 13.14s at the Folksam Grand Prix-meeting.

Norway’s Isabelle Pedersen who is former youth and junior world champion was second in 13.20s. Pedersen’s season’s best time of 12.75s ranks her 19th on the IAAF-list. Karolina Koleczek (Poland) was third in 13.32s.

Steenkamp competed in five race in Europe winning four of them. The only time she did not win was in Ostrava, but that was her breakthrough race. The Tuks/HPC-athlete finished second in 12.99s dipping under 13 seconds for the first time.

Steenkamp rates last night’s race as one of her best performances.

“I am more than happy with the way my race played out. The weather conditions were cold and windy, and that does influence how you run. We have worked on a few things before the race. One of it was to be faster out of the blocks. It worked as I was off to a good start. The rest of my race was technically sound as well.

"I honestly think I had a better race than what my time indicates but then again I was not chasing a fast time I just wanted to win. It is a confidence booster knowing I am capable of beating athletes who have run sub 13 seconds times.”

Steenkamp will be returning to South Africa to prepare for the World Student Games in Taipei.

At the same meeting, Sibusiso Madikizela ran a time of 8:33.32 in the 3000m.

**Anaso Jobodwana won the 200m B-race in 20.77s at the Spitzen Leichtathletik in Luzern. In the 100m he ran a time of 10.41s. Henricho Bruintjies (Tuks) ran 10.46s.

Rynhardt van Rensburg was sixth in the 800m clocking 1:49.05; Antonio Alkana ran 13.34s in the 110m-hurdles to finish second.

In the 400m-hurdles Constant Pretorius (Tuks) ran a time of 50.58s in his race. LJ van Zyl (Tuks/HPC) ran 49.71s in the A-race and Le Roux Hamman (Tuks) 50.25s.

Dylan Cotter was sixth in the long jump with a best attempt of 6.90m.