Athletics

Sekgodiso stuns to win 1 500m, Blignaut seals gold in shot put at SA Champs

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South African athlete Prudence Sekgodiso (Gallo Images)
South African athlete Prudence Sekgodiso (Gallo Images)
Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Prudence Sekgodiso outclassed the rest of the line-up to secure the women's 1 500m, while Olympian Kyle Blignaut took gold in shot put on day two of ASA Senior Track and Field National Championships at Green Point Athletics Stadium in Cape Town on Friday.

Sekgodiso opened a gap in her specialist women's 800m to comfortably win gold in 4:16.38, with Carina Viljoen (4:20.07) finishing second and defending champion Danielle Verster ending third (4:20.53).

In cold and windy conditions, Nkosinathi Sibiya won a tight sprint for the win in the men's 1 500m in 3:39.62, holding off challenges from Christopher Swart (3:40.53) and Ryan Mphahlele (3:40.68), who grabbed the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

WRAP | SA Athletics Championship - Day 2 

In the field, Olympic shot put finalist Kyle Blignaut cleared 20 metres to wrap up another national title with a 20.09m heave.

Blignaut, who finished the sixth at the Tokyo Olympics, put more than 30 centimetres further than his nearest opponent, Burger Lambrechts (19.78m).

The 22-year-old admitted he was not yet in his best form but remained confident of challenging for international titles later this year at the African Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

"I'm happy to go over 20m again, but I feel like my season just doesn't want to get going," Blignaut said.

"I just wanted to come here and defend my national title and now I'll go back to the drawing board with my coach (Pierre Blignaut).

"This was my third or fourth competition of the year, but I don't feel as explosive as I did last year, so I think I need to get back into the gym and work towards my other goals this season."

On the track, Marione Fourie earned a convincing victory in the women's 100m hurdles final, though she was unable to target her second sub-13 performance of the season.

Fourie crossed the finish line in 13.43 seconds, with Charlize Eilerd grabbing the silver medal in 14.00 and Marzaan Loots taking bronze in 14.17.

"The wind was a little hard and I felt cold, but it was a great race. My technique was ok, but I had the wind in my face," Fourie said.

African record holder Antonio Alkana won the men's 110m hurdles final in 13.48, with Ruan de Vries finishing second in 13.82 and Rivaldo Roberts snatching third spot in 13.90.

Former World Championships finalist Victor Hogan secured victory in the discus throw (61.49m), Mpho Links won high jump gold (2.25m) and Ashley Smith secured the 3 000m steeplechase title (8:43.20).

Among the women, Chenique Sas collapsed at the finish after a tough 3 000m steeplechase race in 10:43.20, narrowly holding off Lizandre Mulder (10:44.14), while Danielle Nolte won gold in the long jump (6.22m), Patience Ntshingila grabbed the triple jump title (12.82m) and Leandri Geel won gold in the hammer throw (59.70m).

Meanwhile, Clarence Munyai was quickest in the men's 200m semi-finals, clocking 20.03 with a +2.3m/s tailwind ahead of Sunday's final.

"All praise to the new champions under South Easterly wind that joined the competition during the course of the day. Brilliant performances all round and young athletes definitely raised their hands to challenge senior elite in their comfort zone," said James Moloi, the President of Athletics South Africa.

"The third and last day of competition is a final galore, making it a must-see for athletics enthusiasts on Saturday (tomorrow)."

The ASA Senior Championships is broadcast live on SuperSport (Variety 4), Channel 209.


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