South African athletes achieved impressive results at major events across a variety of Olympic codes at the weekend.
We take a look back at some of the highlights.
IAAF Diamond League
Three of the country’s track and field stars opened their international campaigns by achieving podium places at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on Saturday.
Sprinters Akani Simbine (9.95) and Clarence Munyai (20.37) finished third in the men’s 100m and 200m races respectively, while Ruswahl Samaai grabbed third spot with a leap of 8.14m in the men’s long jump.
Meanwhile, Zarck Visser ended sixth in the long jump (7.90m), while 110m hurdler Antonio Alkana (13.47) and javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen (57.56m) settled for eight position in their specialist disciplines.
“The time is my season’s best, so I feel excited. The Stockholm Diamond League (next week) is in my plans, and the long term goal is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”Clarence Munyai
ITU World Series
Commonwealth champion Henri Schoeman put up a fight, taking second place in the elite men’s race at the third leg of the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday.
French athlete Vincent Luis won the race in 1:43:31, cementing his lead in the overall series rankings.
Schoeman crossed the line three seconds off the pace, rocketing five places up the overall standings to settle in third position with six races remaining in the top-flight campaign.
“I really wanted that (podium). I’ve had some disappointing performances of late… and this is where the Olympics is going to be next year (in Tokyo, Japan) so I really wanted to have a good result.”Henri Schoeman
Results, World Triathlon Series (Yokohama)
Men: 1 Vincent Luis (FRA) 1:43:21, 2 Henri Schoeman (RSA) 1:43:24, 3 Bence Bicsak (HUN) 1:43:26… 19 Wian Sullwald (RSA) 1:45:03
Women: 1 Katie Zaferes (USA) 1:52:12, 2 Summer Rappaport (USA) 1:52:33, 3 Taylor Spivey (USA) 1:53:29… 32 Gillian Sanders (RSA) 2:00:37
Cape Town 12
While foreign athletes dominated the IAAF Bronze Label race, local contenders managed to hang on for some impressive results at the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN on Sunday.
Kenyan Morris Gachaga won the men’s race for the third time in 33:38, and though he missed his own course record by 11 seconds, he held off Uganda’s Abdallah Mande in a late sprint, while local favourite Stephen Mokoka produced a late charge to snatch third position.
Another Kenyan athlete, Brillian Kipkoech, stunned Commonwealth 10 000m champion Stella Chesang of Uganda to win the women’s race in a course record of 38:05, and though she lost touch with the leaders in the early stages, South African Irvette van Zyl held on to finish fifth in 39:22.
“I wanted to win my third title here today. The record was not as important for me. Win first, then worry about the record.”Morris Gachaga
Results, FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN
Men: 1 Morris Gachaga (KEN) 33:38, 2 Abdallah Mande (UGA) 33:39, 3 Stephen Mokoka (RSA) 33:50, 4 Alfred Ng’eno (KEN) 33:52, 5 Moses Koech (KEN) 33:53
Women: 1 Brillian Kipkoech (KEN) 38:05, 2 Stella Chesang (UGA) 38:09, 3 Degitu Azamirew (ETH) 38:11, 4 Muliye Dekebo (ETH) 38:46, 5 Irvette van Zyl (RSA) 39:22