Some of South Africa’s top athletes delivered memorable performances at the weekend, as the road and track and field seasons continued to gain momentum.
We look back on three of the best results produced at home and abroad over the last few days.
Showing the form of his life, race walker Wayne Snyman clocked 1:20:17 over the 20km distance at a race on Podebrady, Czech Republic on Saturday. Finishing just three seconds behind Russian athlete Vasiliy Mizinov, Snyman shattered his personal best by nearly half a minute, and his performance secured him places in the provisional national squads for this year’s World Championships in Doha and next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Jovan van Vuuren
Producing a standout performance, long jumper Jovan van Vuuren shone at the three-day University Sport South Africa (USSA) Track and Field Championships in Stellenbosch. His winning leap of 8.10m was 28 centimetres further than his previous personal best of 7.82m, and the 22-year-old Tuks athlete climbed to ninth place in the all-time SA rankings in his specialist discipline.
“I don’t remember anything about that jump, and I don’t think I am yet appreciating that I might now be capable of playing with the ‘big boys’ like Luvo Manyonga, Ruswhal Samaai and Zarck Visser.”Jovan van Vuuren
Displaying impressive form, distance runner Elroy Gelant won a gutsy battle at the Durban City Marathon on Sunday.
He charged to victory in the half-marathon race in 1:01:57, crossing the line less than a minute outside his 21km personal best. Local prospect Mbuleli Mathanga also had a good day out on the road, enjoying a career breakthrough by taking second place in 1:02:03.
“I want to try to go for a sub-60 (minute half-marathon) this year. My legs are feeling strong, and in terms of leg speed I’m still not there yet, but I get confidence from base training,” Gelant told Runners Guide Radio.
“So going forward I think I’ll be able to maintain this, and I’m really excited and looking forward to a great year.”