Athletics

SA 400m record smashed

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Wayde van Niekerk (Gallo Images)
Wayde van Niekerk (Gallo Images)

New York - Sprint prodigy Wayde van Niekerk has smashed the 15-year-old South African record in the men's 400m sprint at the Diamond League meeting in New York on Saturday night.

Running in lane eight, Van Niekerk went out hard and put up a fight down the home straight to grab second place in 44.38 seconds, smashing the national mark of 44.59 jointly held by Arnaud Malherbe (set in Roodepoort in March 1999) Hendrik Mokganyetsi (in Yokohama in September 2000).

World champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States pulled ahead of the 21-year-old South African in the closing stages to win the race in 44.19, a new meeting record.

Van Niekerk improved his previous career best of 44.92 set at the national championships in Pretoria in April.

It was a superb night all-round for the five-member SA contingent in the Big Apple.

Cornel Fredericks and LJ van Zyl produced a strong challenge in the men's 400m hurdles race, but they were unable to maintain their charge towards the line.

Fredericks and Van Zyl received poor lane draws, starting first and second respectively from the inside, but they started well and were both in contention heading into the finishing straight.

Fredericks was edged into third place in 48.58, smashing his previous best time this year by 0.63 seconds, with American Michael Tinsley, the Olympic and World Championships silver medallist, snatching second position in 48.56.

Van Zyl faded to fifth in 49.37, but he put up a determined showing to break 50 seconds for the first time in three races, while Javier Culson of Puerto Rico won comfortably in 48.03.

Rushwaal Samaai, competing in his first Diamond League meeting, grabbed a surprise third place in the men's long jump with a best leap of 8.00m, just 13cm short of his personal best.

Samaai took the lead in the third round, drawing level with Jeff Henderson, but the American pulled clear again with a jump of 8.33m in round four.

Henderson's countryman, Olympic champion Christian Taylor, produced a leap of 8.06m in the penultimate round to steal second spot from the 22-year-old South African.

Discus thrower Victor Hogan also held his own against a quality line-up, ending fifth in his specialist event with a first-round heave of 63.47m, adding two centimetres to his best distance of the year.

Olympic and world champion Robert Harting of Germany won comfortably with a best effort of 68.24m in the final round.

Results Saturday in the Adidas Grand Prix, a Diamond League meet:

Men

200m
1, Warren Weir, Jamaica, 19.82. 2, Nickel Ashmeade, Jamaica, 19.95. 3, Alonso Edward, Panama, 20.06. 4, Wallace Spearmon, United States, 20.19. 5, Curtis Mitchell, United States, 20.29. 6, Rasheed Dwyer, Jamaica, 20.44. 7, James Ellington, Britain, 20.57. 8, Shota Iizuka, Japan, 21.04.

400m
1, Lashawn Merritt, United States, 44.19. 2, Wayde van Niekerk, South Africa, 44.38. 3, Christopher Brown, Bahamas, 44.61. 4, David Verburg, United States, 45.09. 5 (tie), Tony McQuay, United States, and Luguelin Santos, Dominican Republic, 45.32. 7, Youssef Ahmed Masrahi, Saudi Arabia, 45.57. 8, Lalonde Gordon, Trinidad and Tobago, 45.68.

800m
1, David Rudisha, Kenya, 1:44.63. 2, Mark English, Ireland, 1:45.03. 3, Duane Solomon, United States, 1:45.13. 4, Marcin Lewandowski, Poland, 1:45.23. 5, Adam Kszczot, Poland, 1:45.37. 6, Wesley Vazquez, Puerto Rico, 1:45.79. 7, Ferguson Rotich Cheruiyot, Kenya, 1:45.90. 8, Robby Andrews, United States, 1:46.28. 9, Michael Rutt, United States, 1:46.33. 10, Michael Rimmer, Britain, 1:46.75. Daniel Dey, United States, did not finish.

400m Hurdles
1, Javier Culson, Puerto Rico, 48.03. 2, Michael Tinsley, United States, 48.56. 3, Cornel Fredericks, South Africa, 48.58. 4, Felix Sanchez, Dominican Republic, 49.09. 5, L.J. van Zyl, South Africa, 49.37. 6, Bershawn Jackson, United States, 49.67. 7, Jehue Gordon, Trinidad and Tobago, 49.81. 8, Leford Green, Jamaica, 50.87.

High Jump
1, Bohdan Bondarenko, Ukraine, 2.42. 2, Mutaz Essa Barshim, Qatar, 2.42. 3, Andriy Protsenko, Ukraine, 2..35. 4, Erik Kynard, United States, 2.32. 5, Jesse Williams, United States, 2.29.

Long Jump
1, Jeff Henderson, United States, 8.33. 2, Christian Taylor, United States, 8.06. 3, Rushwal Samaai, South Africa, 8.00. 4, Li Jinzhe, China, 7.95. 5, Louis Tsatoumas, Greece, 7.82.

Discus
1, Robert Harting, Germany, 68.22. 2, Piotr Malachowski, Poland, 65.44. 3, Ehsan Hadadi, Iran, 65.22. 4, Robert Urbanek, Poland, 64.82. 5, Victor Hogan, South Africa, 63.48.

Women

100m
1, Tori Bowie, United States, 11.07. 2, Samantha Henry-Robinson, Jamaica, 11.13. 3, Schillonie Calvert, Jamaica, 11.15. 4, Kerron Stewart, Jamaica, 11.17. 5, Alexandria Anderson, United States, 11.22. 6, English Gardner, United States, 11.25. 7, Carrie Russell, Jamaica, 11.27. 8, Octavious Freeman, United States, 11.35. 9, Gloria Asumnu, Nigeria, 11.54.

1 500m
1, Abeba Aregawi, Sweden, 4:00.13. 2, Dawit Seyaum, Ethiopia, 4:00.66. 3, Jennifer Simpson, United States, 4:02.54. 4, Shannon Rowbury, United States, 4:03.36. 5, Irene Jelagat, Kenya, 4:04.07. 6, Treniere Moser, United States, 4:04.33. 7, Morgan Uceny, United States, 4:04.87. 8, Brenda Martinez, United States, 4:06.42. 9, Renata Plis, Poland, 4:07.03. 10, Alexa Efraimson, United States, 4:07.05. 11, Nicole Sifuentes, Canada, 4:08.11. 12, Viola Lagat, Kenya, 4:09.13. 13, Gabrielle Grunewald, United States, 4:10.12. 14, Amela Terzic, Serbia, 4:13.16. Heather Wilson, United States, and Annette Eichenberger, United States, DNF

3000m
1, Mercy Cherono, Kenya, 8:39.84. 2, Betsy Saina, Kenya, 8:40.65. 3, Kalkidan Gezahegne, Ethiopia, 8:42.54. 4, Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego, Kenya, 8:43.43. 5, Kim Conley, United States, 8:44.11. 6, Julia Bleasdale, Britain, 8:48.90. 7, Buze Diriba, Ethiopia, 8:51.46. 8, Nikki Hamblin, New Zealand, 8:51.48. 9, Chelsea Reilly, United States, 8:52.23. 10, Nicole Schappert, United States, 8:55.48. 11, Lauren Penney, United States, 8:55.55. 12, Ashley Higginson, United States, 8:56.67. 13, Gotytom Gebreslase, Ethiopia, 8:57.23. 14, Margherita Magnani, Italy, 8:57.42. 15, Jessica Tebo, United States, 9:01.25. Heidi Gregson, Australia, did not finish.

100m Hurdles
1, Queen Harrison, United States, 12.62. 2, Dawn Harper Nelson, United States, 12.63. 3, LoLo Jones, United States, 12.77. 4, Cindy Billaud, France, 12.85. 5, Tiffany Porter, Britain, 12.89. 6, Nia Ali, United States, 13.03. 7, Shermaine Williams, Jamaica, 13.09. 8, Angela Whyte, Canada, 13.15. 9, Yvette Lewis, Panama, 13.35.

3000m Steeplechase
1, Sofia Assefa, Ethiopia, 9:18.58. 2, Purity Cherotich Kirui, Kenya, 9:23.43. 3, Lidya Chepkurui, Kenya, 9:27.42. 4, Stephanie Garcia, United States, 9:28.96. 5, Fancy Cherotich, Kenya, 9:46.88. 6, Beverly Ramos, Puerto Rico, 9:47.60. 7, Rolanda Bell, Panama, 10:10.66. 8, María Mancebo, Dominican Republic, 10:25.98. Sarah Pease, United States, did not finish.

Pole Vault
1, Fabiana Murer, Brazil, 4.80. 2, Jennifer Suhr, United States, 4.70. 3, Yarisley Silva, Cuba, 4.70. 4, Ekateríni Stefanídi, Greece, 4.60. 5, Anna Rogowska, Poland, 4.50.

Triple Jump
1, Kimberly Williams, Jamaica, 14.31. 2, Anna Pyatykh, Russia, 14.19. 3, Yosiri Urrutia, Colombia, 14.13. 4, Irina Gumenyuk, Russia, 13.97. 5, Linda Leverton, Australia, 13.80.

Shot Put 1
1, Valerie Adams, New Zealand, 19.68. 2, Michelle Carter, United States, 19.51. 3, Cleopatra Borel, Trinidad and Tobago, 19.04. 4, Irina Tarasova, Russia, 18.38. 5, Tia Brooks, United States, 17.76.

Javelin Throw
1, Linda Stahl, Germany, 67.32. 2, Kathryn Mitchell, Australia, 66.06. 3, Madara Palameika, Latvia, 64.84. 4, Kara Patterson, United States, 62.46. 5, Kathrina Molitor, Germany, 61.68.

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