SPRINTERS Hitjivirue Kaanjuka and Frank Puriza won both their races in a packed Paavo Nurmen Stadium in Turku, Finland, at a meet also graced by South Africa's Caster Semenya on Wednesday.
Kaanjuka fared much better than Sunday's second-place finish in the 100m in Tampere. The reigning Namibian double sprint champion won his heat earlier in the day in 10,56 before his 10,44 seconds powered him to victory in the evening over local Eero Haapala.
A highly motivated Kaanjuka didn't lose focus despite a false start by one of his rivals, who was disqualified, as he accelerated well from the 50m to win the race. Kaanjuka said he felt good and happy that his times are getting faster. He also expressed delight at having won the race, which encourages him to work extra hard to get to the regular winning standards the ladies have set.
Namibian 400m runner Puriza didn't disappoint, showing signs that he is closely getting back to his best. According to his coach Letu Hamhola, Puriza displayed great determination to win his race in 47,80 followed by Lauri Kohtamaki in second place.
"He had a good start, running a well-timed bend to pass most of his opponents in the back straight. He accelerated again from the 120m and kept his composure and rhythm to win the race," said Hamhola.
"It's been a hard season for me so far. I have found it difficult to find my rhythm in races and for once I was in control once again. This win really gives me confidence for my next races cause now I can enjoy racing again," Puriza said after the race.
Globine Mayova won her 100m heat earlier in the day in 12 seconds flat, but she did not run the final after feeling a tight hamstring.
Coach Letu Hamhola said: "We felt it was not worth taking the risk as a injury now will destroy the whole session, it's nothing to worry about it was all just a precaution."
Unfortunately during the meeting there was no 200m and 400m for All-Africa bronze medallist Tjipekapora Herunga, but she did a 500m time trail in preparation for her next races and the African Championships.
At the same meet, South African world silver medallist Caster Semenya won the women's 600m in one minute 25,56 seconds, followed by Tamsyn Manou of Australia 1:26,28 and Tatjana Andrianova from Russia third.
Semenya's compatriot and former world silver medallist Khotso Mokoena won the men's long jump with a distance of 8,13 metres.