Alyssa Conley and Henricho Bruintjies dominated the sprint races at 2016 South African Senior Championships in Athletics at Coetzenberg in Stellenbosch on Friday.
[link id="925" tax="post_tag" text="Alyssa Conley"] caused a major upset by edging the reigning SA record-holder [link id="893" tax="post_tag" text="Carina Horn"] on the finish line to win the women's 100m in 11.36 seconds.
Horn settled for second place in 11.37, while Western Province’s Tamzin Thomas was third in 11.67.
“I’ve always believed in myself. I knew it was going to be a tough race, but after the first ASA Night Series when she basically caught up to me, I knew I could do it,” Conley said afterwards. “I was very focused and ready for the final.
“What hasn’t sunk in is that I am back on track. I haven’t been on track for three years due to injuries and setbacks, and what hasn’t sunk in is that I am here again. The next goal is tomorrow in the 200m.”
[link id="477" tax="post_tag" text="Wenda Nel"] laid down a marker with a world-leading time of 54.84 seconds to claim the national women’s 400m hurdles title in what was her first race of the season.
Anneri Moolman took the silver medal in 58.66 ahead of Gezelle Magerman, who claimed the bronze medal in 59.03.
“It was very nice. I came out with quite a big expectation for myself, but I didn’t want to pressurise myself too much as it is my first meet of the year. I did hope for a sub-55, and I am very happy that I could execute it in that way,” said Nel.
“Stride-pattern worked out, I was just in control. Didn’t go out that fast, so I had a lot of power and strength at the end, and I just fought for the line.
“I hope so (to break 54 seconds)! It is in the planning, and I do hope that everything can work out for that 53 because that will definitely be the kind of time you have to look at to be on the podium at the Olympics,” Wenda Nel added.
There was another upset in the men's 100m final as the record-holder [link id="715" tax="post_tag" text="Akani Simbine"] was upstaged by one of his main rivals [link id="780" tax="post_tag" text="Henricho Bruintjies"].
Bruintjies pulled off the victory in 10.17 seconds, with Akani Simbine second in 10.21 and Emile Erasmus finishing third in 10.29 seconds.
Simbine – who ran 10.06 in his semi-final, the fastest time at the coast in South Africa – appeared to have injured his hamstring as he was helped off the track by some athletes.
“Unbelievable, I’m on top of the world! It was nice. For me, the only thing I wanted to do is come out here and take the title. I haven’t been on the podium for a while,” Bruintjies said.
“Time is not important today – it is all about the title and being number one. Times will come.
“I love my new coach, and training with Akani – I think he hurt himself in the race, and as his training partner, I don’t feel good about that. I hope he gets well soon. But training together is working perfectly as we are pushing each other,” Bruintjies added.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, an exciting finish saw [link id="142" tax="post_tag" text="LJ van Zyl"] take the title in 49.34 seconds ahead of [link id="231" tax="post_tag" text="Cornel Fredericks"], and Van Zyl was excited to finish first.
“It’s my 100th time under 49.50, and 138th sub-50, so I’m really glad," said Van Zyl after the race.
"This is my 14th SA senior champs and I still love the sport a lot. [link id="228" tax="post_tag" text="Irvette"] and I had diarrhoea over the last two days, and the lady who looks after our child.
“So I almost pulled out of the race as I wasn’t feeling too well this morning. But I did well with a 50.12 in the heat, I knew I could run faster in the final. My coach still wants me to lose 2kg in the next two months, so I must chill on the carbs and I’m not drinking beer,” he added.
[link id="185" tax="post_tag" text="Stephen Mokoka"] got the better of Elroy Gelant with 13:40.81 in the men's 5000m, although it was well short of Mokoka’s SA record of 13:11.44.
Boland’s Victor Hogan produced a mammoth throw of 67.62m to clinch the men's Discus title in a new personal best, and leapfrogged the [link id="315" tax="post_tag" text="Rio 2016"] Olympic qualifying standard of 65.00m.
Selected Results - Day One
- Sunette Viljoen 59.39m
- Jo-Ane van Dyk 50.17m
- Megan Wilke 49.33m
Shot Put Final
- Ischke Senekal 15.28m
- Meike Strydom 13.84m
- Monique Wagner 13.74m
Pole Vault Final
- Christy Nell 3.50m
- Jody Sedras 3.50m
- Kulthoom Gaidien 3.30m
400m Hurdles Final
- Wenda Nel 54.84
- Anneri Moolman 58.66
- Gezelle Magerman 59.03
- Alyssa Conley 11.36
- Carina Horn 11.37
- Tamzin Thomas 11.67
- Henricho Bruintjies 10.17
- Akani Simbine 10.21
- Emile Erasmus 10.29
Triple Jump Final
- Menzi Mthembu 16.10m
- Khotso Mokoena 16.02m
- Jason Sewanyana 14.91m
- Phil-Mar Janse van Rensburg 78.88m
- Chad Herman 76.81m
- Stephan Beukes 74.80m
- Stephen Mokoka 13:40.81
- Elroy Gelant 13:43.43
- Sibusiso Nzima 13:46.73
- Victor Hogan 67.62m
- Russel Tucker 63.96m
- Dewald van Heerden 59.75m
400m Hurdles Final
- LJ van Zyl 49.34
- Cornel Fredericks 49.75
- Constant Pretorius 50.00