SA hauls in eight golds at regional Olympic youth qualifiers in Botswana

2010-05-25 00:00

THE South African team amassed eight gold, six silver and three bronze medals on the opening day of the Southern Region Olympic Youth qualifiers being held in Gaborone, Botswana. The host country moved into second on the medal table with three gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

One of the closest finishes was in the 400 metre hurdles, where Schalk Burger (51,99) out-dipped countryman Taariq Solomons (52,17) in the run in.

Solomons had the looks of a winner until he clipped the hurdle before the final run in. The South African duo reversed the positions they had earned at the SA championships.

“It is always good competing against Solomons because we push each other to the limit. It feels good to finally get the better of him,” says Burger.

Siphelo Ngquboza led South Africa to a clean sweep of medals in the 100 m with a time of 10,72 seconds.

Rudolf Erasmus (10,77) and Henrico Bruintjies (10,84) completed the podium, while the wind assisted Roelf Pienaar to dominate the long jump with a best of 7,49 metres.

Mpho Maphutha clinched the silver medal with 7,05 metres.

Jacques du Plessis and Simone Meyer proved to be in a class of their own in the men’s and ladies’ discus, throwing 60,46 and 49,07 respectively.

In the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix at the weekend, South African javelin thrower, Ulrich Damon (19), experienced top-notch senior competition. The youngster threw a best of 71,83 metres, and will undoubtedly gain from the exposure to some of the world’s best, including world champion Andreas Thorkildsen, who launched the spear to 86,11 metres.

The meeting was Usain Bolt’s first return to China since setting the two world records in the sprints.

On this occasion, he won the 200 metres in a wind in 19,76 seconds, leaving American Angelo Taylor trailing to the line in 20,34, with Ryan Bailey (U.S.) third.

Bolt has already run 19,56 for the 200 metres this year in Jamaica.

Sprinter Simon Magakwe was also in action at the weekend in the International Association of Athletics Federations meet in Rio de Janeiro, where he finished sixth (21,18) in the 200 metres behind American Xavier Carter, who took the honours in 20,55, with France’s Martial Mbandjock second in 20,67.

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