17 July 2017

South Africa: Stalwarts Win Two More Medals for SA in London

Two more medals came the way of South Africa on day three of the IPC Athletics World Championships in London on Sunday.

Fittingly, it was stalwarts Ilse Hayes and Zanele Situ who came to the party with a silver and bronze respectively to take the medal tally to five.

It was Hayes' final 200-metre sprint in a star-studded career, which has seen her wear the green and gold at six IPC Athletics World Championships (the first 15 years ago) and four Paralympics.

And although she couldn't manage a golden finish, her silver in the T13 women's final came in a season's best 24.94 seconds as Ukraine's Leilia Adzhametova won in an Asian record 24.63.

She brings a glittering career to an end on Monday night in the 100m... expect a few tissues to be doing the rounds in the SA camp.

The team's other medal came from yet another loyal servant to SA para-athletics as 46-year-old Zanele Situ snatched bronze in the F54 javelin.

Her heave of 17.02 metres came from her first throw, which she followed up with efforts of 16.49, 16.93 and 15.92.

That 17.02 saw her ending 69cm behind silver medallist Hania Aidi of Tunisia, and 77cm behind winner Liwan Yang of China.

Situ, pictured here with longtime coach Karin le Roux, is also part of the furniture when it comes to SA para-sport. She took part in the Sydney Olympics 17 years ago, and this is her sixth World Championship.

Yet another athlete saying goodbye to the SA para-sport family at these championships is Arnu Fourie, and he ended fifth in the T44 100m final.

After running 11.13 in the heats he was unable to improve on that, clocking 11.19sec in the final, won by the host nation's Jonnie Peacock in 10.75.

In the same race Mpumelelo Mhlongo ended seventh in 11.45 after setting a personal best 11.31 in the heats.

The only other South African in action was Paralympic gold medallist Hilton Langenhoven in the T12 long jump, where his 6.75m was good for fourth.

Just two centimetres separated Langenhoven from a bronze medal as Belarussia's Siarhei Burdukou took third in 6.77.

The 7.19m he jumped in Assen nine years ago is still Langenhoven's IPC World Championships record.

Despite winning those two extra medals for South Africa, the rainbow nation still slipped down to 28th spot on the medals table. Great Britain lead with 15 medals (eight of them gold).

Picture of Hayes on her way to silver courtesy of Mike Hewitt/Getty Images and that of Fourie in heat action courtesy of S Bardens - British Athletics/British Athletics via Getty Images

The latest issue of Team SA magazine has an article featuring Fourie and Hayes.

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