Van Zyl back to winning ways
Commonwealth champion LJ van Zyl bounced back from the disappointment he faced at the South African Athletics Championships last weekend, taking revenge over national champion Wouter le Roux by winning the men’s 400m hurdles race at the fourth Yellow Pages Series meeting at the University of Johannesburg.
In Durban on Sunday, Van Zyl was disqualified after a false start and was forced to watch from the sidelines as Le Roux defended his national crown. But, three days later, he made no mistakes, setting a season’s best of 49.45 to beat Le Roux by 0.63 seconds, restamping his authority as South Africa’s best one-lap hurdler.
Few others took advantage of the cool and overcast conditions, however, with the nation’s top athletes clearly still recovering from the performances they put in at the weekend.
One-lap specialist Estie Wittstock dropped down in distance to snatch the short sprint double.
She won the 100m in 11.75 seconds, with Carina Horn taking second in 11.95 and India’s Srabani Nanda placing third a further 0.08 seconds behind. And 90 minutes later, Wittstock returned to add the 200m victory in a time of 23.66, with Namibian Tjipekapora Herunga taking second in 24.14.
National champions Simon Magakwe (10.35) and Thuso Mpuang (20.82) won the men’s 100m and 200m sprints respectively.
Teenager Rikenette Steenkamp, 17, improved her personal best in the women’s 100m hurdles, clocking 13.61 and falling only 0.13 seconds shy of the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard, with Janet Wienand taking seconds in 13.69.
South African champion Wenda Theron missed the qualifying standard by 0.39 seconds in the women’s 400m hurdles with a season’s best of 57.06, easily defeating Olga Razanamalala of Madagascar who placed second in 59.16.
Cindy Peters produced the best jump of her life in the women‘s triple jump, leaping 12.91m to beat national champion Patience Ntshingila by only 1cm.
Windy Jonas tore away from the field to comfortably win the men’s 800m by almost three seconds in 1:46.77, relegating Botswana’s Onalenna Baloi into a distant second in 1:49.50.
And Lebogang Phalula put on a superb display of front running to win the women’s 800m in 2:04.59, easily defeating national champion Maphaseka Makhanya, who finished second in 2:06.21, and Rene Kalmer who was third in 2:07.05.
African record holder Sunette Viljoen narrowly edged Justine Robbeson in a closely fought contest in the women’s javelin throw, although their performances were poorly affected by the overcast conditions.
Viljoen won with a best effort of 57.82 metres, and Robbeson took second with 57.40m.
The Yellow Pages series now moves on to the fifth event in Stellenbosch on March 30 before the sixth and final meeting in Germiston on April 6.