African Games Day 5 Athletics Report
Mpho Lik’s celebrating SA’s only gold medal in the athletics. Photo by Lindsay Hanekom
Day 5 of the African Games in Morocco brought more success for team SA which saw them adding another 6 medals to the tally. Mpho Links brought back SA’s first gold medal in the High Jump final, other medals were won by Ischke Senekal silver in the Shot Put, Meike Strydom bronze medal in the Shot Put, Anaso Jobodwana bronze medal in the 200m, Breyton Poole bronze medal in the High Jump, and the 4 x 400m quartet (Ranti Dikgale, Ashley Hlungwani, Derrick Mokaleng and Thapelo Phora) winning silver.
Here’s a look at the performances from day 5:
400m Hurdles Women – Final
Zeney van der Walt and Wenda Nel were in action in the hurdles and both fell just short of the medals. Van der Walt was closest finishing 4th in a time of 57.67 seconds in a photo-finish with the 3rd place finisher running a time of 57.66 seconds. Nel finished in 6th place with a time of 58.01 seconds.
Shot Put Women – Final
Ischke Senekal and Meike Strydom were carrying SA’s hopes in the Shot Put final. Senekal who finished 3rd in the Discus Throw final on day 4 finished a spot better in 2nd place with a throw of 16.18m. Meike Strydom took her opportunity and finished behind Senekal throwing to the distance of 14.64m for 3rd place.
200m Men – Final
Anaso Jobodwana was the only sprinter in an individual final on day 5. Jobodwana gave a solid performance to finish with a well-deserved bronze medal in a time of 20.56 seconds missing out on silver by a whisker with Nigeria’s Oduduru snatching 2nd place in 20.54 seconds. Zambia’s Sydney Siame pulled clear of the field running 20.35 seconds for the gold medal.
High Jump Men – Final
The High Jump final produced SA’s first gold medal for the African Championships in the athletics competition. Team SA’s Mpho Links and Breyton Poole tag-teamed the rest of Africa in pursuit of the continental title. Links won SA’s first and only gold medal in the competition with a height of 2.20m and the youngster Poole showed his championship mentality to finish in 3rd place. Poole was equal with Kenya’s Kiplagat Sane but was beaten on count back.
4 x 400m Relay Women – Final
Team SA’s ladies 400m quartet stepped out in the 400m relay in the 2nd last race of the competition and despite putting in a brave fight they managed to only finish in 5th place with a time of 3:41.17.
4 x 400m Relay Men – Final
The SA men’s team came into the final as the favourite team to win the gold in this race, and after the heat was cancelled on day 4 it seemed to play in their favour. The quartet gave it their all in the final and finished in 2nd place in 3:03.18! Botswana proved slightly stronger claiming the title away from SA with the two Southern Region teams pushing each other to the finish line.
Team SA finished in 10th place on the overall athletics standings winning a total of 17 medals (1 gold, 6 silver and 10 bronze).
Well done to all the athletes, coaches, manager and support staff who were wearing the green and gold in Morocco. Your sacrifice is appreciated.
Written by Themba Madima