Antonio Alkana advances to Sunday night’s 110m hurdles semis

06 August 2017 - 19:07 By DAVID ISAACSON in London
South Africa's Antonio Alkana and Barbados' Shane Brathwaite compete in the heats of the men's 110m hurdles athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 6, 2017.
South Africa's Antonio Alkana and Barbados' Shane Brathwaite compete in the heats of the men's 110m hurdles athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 6, 2017.
Image: AFP

Antonio Alkana advanced to Sunday night’s 110m hurdles semis as he finished third in his heat to qualify automatically.

Alkana hit a few hurdles before finishing in 13.43sec behind American star Aries Merritt‚ the fastest overall in 13.16.

Merritt‚ who underwent a kidney transplant after winning at the 2015 world championships‚ was quicker than even Jamaican Omar McLeod‚ owner of the 12.90 world lead.

“I got out of the blocks well‚ but then I started knocking hurdles‚” said Alkana‚ who will probably have to go closer to his 13.11 national record in the semifinals to ensure he progresses to the final on Monday night.

“I think I was too low going over the hurdles so I need to focus on that … I’m looking forward to the semifinals.”

In the men’s marathon Desmond Mokgobu was SA’s only finisher‚ crossing the line in 26th position in 2hr 16min 14sec nearly eight minutes behind Kenyan winner Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui.

That was SA’s best result in the 42km since 2009‚ when Norman Dlomo finished 12th.

Sibusiso Nzima didn’t finish and Lusapho April was unable to get to London because of passport issues.

The women’s marathon produced a tight finish with the top four women finishing within 10 seconds of each other‚ Rose Chelimo of Bahrain winning in 2:27:11.

American Amy Cragg‚ the wife of former South African-turned-Irish athlete Alistair‚ took the bronze in 2:27:18.

SA runners Mapaseka Makhanya and Jenna Challenor ended 40th and 59th‚ in 2:40:15 and 2:47:22. - TimesLIVE

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