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SOLID WEEKEND FOR SA ATHLETES

Rio Olympic Games 400m gold medallist and world champion Wayde van Niekerk, was the star performer at the weekend, leading the charge as South African track athletes shone overseas while local road runners carried the flag on home soil.

Van Niekerk won the 200m race at the Adidas Boost Games in Boston on Sunday night, clocking 19.84 seconds on a straight 200m track to set an unofficial SA best in the rarely run event. The win will not be recorded by the IAAF either as it was on a straight and did not include the standard bend.

Compatriot Akani Simbine, meanwhile, narrowly missed out on securing victory in the 100m dash at the unique meeting, crossing the line in second position in 10.21, after being pipped on the line by KestonBledman of Trinidad and Tobago.

Two days earlier, at the opening leg of the Boost Games series, distance runner Dominique Scott grabbed second spot in the Women’s 1 500m race on the track, covering the distance in 4:12.48.

On home soil, Bongmusa Mthembu produced a spectacular run to win the annual Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu-Natal for the second time.

Mthembu, the national 100km record holder, completed the 86.7km road race in 5:35:34 to add to his previous victory in 2014.

While he ensured the men’s title went to a local athlete for the sixth year in a row, the women’s event was won by a foreign runner for the first time since 2014.

American athlete Camille Herron earned her maiden Comrades victory in 6:27:35, and last year’s winner Charne Bosman was the first SA woman home, taking third place in 6:39:51.

In Cape Town on Saturday, versatile distance runner Elroy Gelant delivered an impressive effort at the UWC Bestmed 10km race, clocking 28:18 for a gun-to-tape victory.

Ends

 Issued by:

Athletics South Africa

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