Hope for SA athletes in Daegu

2011-08-29 08:06

After a disappointing start, there is hope on the horizon in South Africa’s bid for a podium finish at the IAAF World Championships.

Oscar Pistorius will line up in the 400m semifinals later this evening at 8.16pm (1.16pm SA time) in anticipation that “The Blade Runner” would emulate Ruben Ramolefi who reached the 3 000m steeplechase final early in the day.

Pistorius has already made history by being the first amputee to compete in the able-bodied senior championships. He finished third in 45.39 during the heats today to reach the semis.

Ramolefi finished second during his qualifiers in 8:11.50 and in the process bettered his two-year-old record of 8:16.04.

Also on day three of competition at the Daegu Stadium, the 400m hurdles duo of LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks reached the semifinals with impressive performances in their respective heats.

Van Zyl won his heat in 48.52 while Fredericks came second in 48.52 in his field to book their places in tomorrow’s final contest.

Wenda Theron also reached the semifinals following the women’s 400m hurdles heats on Tuesday.

She came third in a personal best of 56.13 in just her debut at the senior championships level.

The steeplechase final is on Thursday evening while the 400m hurdles (men’s and women’s) final takes place tomorrow.

Team South Africa has so far achieved a mixed back of fortunes at the global showpiece.

On the opening day on Sunday, Rene Kalmer and Annarien van Schalkwyk could not make it to the podium in the women’s marathon.

The two finished six spots apart inside the top 40 in the 42km race.

Kalmer, positioned 31, crossed the line after 2 hours and 38 minutes while Van Schalkwyk arrived five minutes later in position 37.

Tanith Maxwell did not start in the same event.

Stephen Mokoka managed a 13th position overall in the men’s 10 000m final yesterday.

Lehann Fourie’s road in the men’s 110m hurdles was cut short after he failed to net a qualifying time in the heats.

Meanwhile Kenya were heading the medal table (2 gold) with Ethiopia (joint third) the two African nations in the top 10 on day three.

The Kenyan’s gold came off the women’s marathon and women’s 10 000m while Ethiopia won the men’s 10 000m race.

Follow Daniel Mothowagae on twitter @DanieMothowagae for regular updates at Daegu 2011

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