African Games Day 2 Athletics Report
Team photo of SA athletics squad in Morocco. Photo supplied by W. Nel
Day 2 of the African Championships in Morocco was a testing day after a promising day 1. There were a great deal of SA athletes competing in semi-finals, finals as well as athletes opening their African Games campaigns. The SA team has a great deal of young athletes searching for their breakthrough continental performances who are currently benefiting from competing at such a high-level competition, and the fruits thereof will be revealed in seasons to come.
Here’s a look at the performances from day 2:
100m Women Final
Tebogo Mamatu lined-up in the final against the fastest women in Africa and a 6th place finish was the best she could produce on the day clocking a time of 11.65 against a -1.2 head wind.
100m Men Final
Chederick van Wyk and Thando Dlodlo were SA’s duo in the super-fast 100m final. Van Wyk finished best at 6th place with a time of 10.31 whilst Dlodlo finished 8th in 10.33 seconds. The final produced great times with Raymond Ekevwo from Nigeria winning in 9.96 seconds and 2nd place going to Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse in 9.97 seconds.
High Jump Women Final
Julia Du Plesis represented team SA in the High Jump final and she finished in 7th place with a height of 1.75m.
100m Hurdles Women Heat
Taylon Bieldt had a good start to her campaign at the African Games when she finished 3rd in heat 2 with a time 13.54 seconds getting an automatic qualifying spot to the final.
Shot Put Men Final
Orazio Cremona and Kyle Blignaut had tough competition in the final and the more experienced Cremona finished in 5th place with a throw of 20.06m whilst Blignaut had to settle for 7th place with a distance of 17.98m in his first international senior final.
Hammer Throw Women Final
Chene Pretorius and Margaretha Cumming competed in the Hammer throw final which was dominated by Nigeria. Kimalou Bambara from Burkina Faso won the competition with a dominant 65.28m. Pretorius finished in 7th place with a throw of 60.30m whilst Cumming finished at 10th place with a throw of 55.57m
400m Men Semi-Finals
Gardeo Isaacs was the first of the SA one-lappers to take the track in heat 1. Isaacs finished 3rd in a time of 46.52 just outside of the automatic qualifying spots.
Derrick Mokaleng was next in heat 2 and he also finished in 3rd place in his heat with a time of 46.67 also outside of the automatic qualifying spots.
Thapelo Phora was in superb form in heat 3. After seeing his teammates have tough runs in the heats he timed his run to perfection taking the win in a time of 45.67 seconds for an automatic spot in the final. Phora is looking in great shape to medal in the final after the way he executed in the semi-finals and he remains undefeated thus far.
800m Men Semi-Finals
Tshepo Tshite being team SA’s only 800m athlete didn’t have things his way in heat 2 of the 800m. Tshite finished in 6th place in a time of 1:49.17 in what was a tactical semi-final.
4 x 100m Relay Women Heats
Team SA’s relay team put in a solid performance to take the victory in heat 1 with a time of 45.54 booking an automatic qualifying spot to the final. The SA women’s team need a flawless run in the final with perfect handovers to put themselves in a position to medal.
4 x 100m Relay Men Heats
Team SA’s relay men’s team got the job done in heat 2 finishing 2nd in a time of 39.76 to get an automatic qualifying to the final. The men registered the 3rd fastest time heading into the final and are well positioned to fight for the gold medal in the final.
Day 2 was a testing day for team SA but with day 3 coming up and more events starting it will be interesting to see what results the team will produce.
Written by Themba Madima