Photo by: Roger Sedres
Caster Semenya (1500m), Jacob Rozani (800m) and both the men’s and women’s 4 x 100m teams (Women: Tamzin Thomas, Tebogo Mamatu, Alyssa Conley and Carina Horn. Men: Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine, Emile Erasmus and Gift Leotlela) produced Olympic qualifying efforts and also secured podium positions on the third day of the CAA African Senior Championships in Durban.
Caster Semenya walked away victorious in the 1500m running the second fastest time ever by a South African and also breaking the championship record. Semenya’s 4.01.99 not only saw her qualifying for the Olympic Games, but also immediately puts her in medal contention for the Games. The South African 800m champion Jacob Rozani, on the other hand, finished strongly to take the silver in the men’s 800m final in an Olympic qualifying time of 1.45.38; a time that he has been chasing the whole season. Rynardt Van Rensburg took bronze in the same race in a fast 1.46.15. The surprise of the day, however, came from Keagan Fourie’s silver medal jump in the men’s High Jump! The tall South African produced a best jump of 2.18m to earn the silver medal in this world class men’s field; most definitely a highlight in the career of the youngster. Samantha Pretorius missed out on the bronze medal by a mere 1cm in the women’s Long Jump (So close but yet so far).
The women’s and men’s 4 x 100m relays provided the crowd with very fast and explosive action that was won, once again, by the South Africans. Both the women’s 43.66sec and men’s 38.84sec gold medal efforts ranks them in the top sixteen in the world; thus qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games.
Three gold medals, two silver and one bronze on day three of the CAA African Senior Championships is an indication that track is back in South Africa!!