Sprinters target clean sweep

Glasgow - Three of South Africa's para-athletes have set their sights on a clean sweep in the men's 100m T37 at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Monday.

Multiple medallist Fanie van Zyl and Charl du Toit won their heats by clocking 11.75 and 12.02 seconds respectively.

Andrea Dalle Ave eased off over the last 40m to comfortably qualify in third behind Van Zyl in the category for athletes with a level of paralysis on one side of the body.

"In the finals anything can happen but there's definitely a chance for that [a clean sweep]. It would be amazing," Van Zyl said.

Meanwhile, South African men's 400m record-holder Wayde van Niekerk started his campaign for a medal in his specialist event at Hampden Stadium on Monday morning.

Van Niekerk slowed on the home straight as lactic caught up with him to eventually qualify third in his heat in 46.87 seconds for Tuesday evening's semi-finals.

"It's a top three [qualification], so when I saw I was clearly third I didn't really push it," Van Niekerk said.

"The time was quite slow, but that just means I can do better.

"I just wanted to qualify. It doesn't matter which lane I get in the semi-finals."

South Africa's decathlon ace Willem Coertzen had a solid start to the first day of events where he posted a time of 10.88 seconds in the 100m, which was 0.07 seconds faster than his personal best and third-fastest in the competition.

A 7.4m second leap in the long jump provided a solid foundation of 1798 points and a third place moving into the shot put.

In the shot put, Coertzen had to be content with a 13.70m best throw to complete the morning session with 2508 points for fourth place, with Canadian leader Damian Warner leading the South African by 183 points.

England's Ashley Bryant was 13 points ahead of Coertzen on 2521 after the third event, and well within the South African's range as the competition progresses.

Para-athlete Lean Simon opened with a new Africa record of 46.37m in the men's F42/44 discus competition and increased that by a further two centimetres in his second throw for fifth place.

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