EDENGLEN HIGH UNVEILS AKANI SIMBINE STAND

Local sprint king Akani Simbine was given a special surprise by his alma mater on Wednesday morning, when it was revealed that a stand had been named after him at Edenglen High School in Edenvale.
Simbine, who reached the 100m final at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 World Championships, was not aware that he would receive the honour until he arrived at the school for a visit.
The 23-year-old national record holder was greeted by pupils before signing autographs and posing for photographs while sitting on the ‘Akani Simbine Stand’.
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VAN NIEKERK OUT OF ZURICH DIAMOND LEAGUE

World champion Wayde van Niekerk has withdrawn from the men’s 400m race at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich, Switzerland on August 24, due to a recurring back injury.

Van Niekerk, also the Olympic champion and world record holder, has had to manage the niggle throughout the season, overcoming the setback to retain his one-lap crown and take the 200m silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in London, England last week.

“This injury has plagued me throughout the summer and I had to receive treatment from Dr Muller-Wohlfahrt,” Van Niekerk said.

“Obviously you don’t want your competitors to know if you are struggling in any way, so I’ve kept it quiet until this point.”

Returning to training this week after his successful campaign at the World Championships, the versatile 25-year-old sprinter felt the back injury flare up again.

After consultation with coach Ans Both, it was decided to avoid the risk of competing again at this late stage of the season, as a precaution in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April.

“I am bitterly disappointed I won’t be competing in the last Diamond League event of the season as I haven’t won a Diamond League Final before and was hoping to get my hands on one of the fiercely contested Diamond trophies, but we feel it is in my best interest to recover fully, in order to ensure I can take on the 2018 season in good health and at full strength,” Van Niekerk said.

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SEMENYA BAGS FIFTH IN-SITE MEDAL

Caster Semenya ended In-Site’s campaign at the IAAF World Championships on Sunday by racking up another international title, on the 10th and final day of the biennial showpiece in London, England.
Lining up as the pre-race favourite, after stunning her opponents by claiming the 1 500m bronze medal earlier in the week, Semenya made no mistakes in the 800m final.
Producing a well-judged tactical effort, she delivered a blinding kick down the home straight to win gold in 1:55.16, breaking her own South African record of 1:55.27 which had been set in Monaco last month.
“I’m lucky to have a great support team who work with me. Full credit to them,” said the Olympic gold medallist and former world champion.
“Another world title is a fantastic honour for me and I love to do it here in London.
“The crowd are so welcoming to me and it makes it feel even more special.”
It was a superb championships for In-Site athletes, who contributed five of South Africa’s record six medals.
Wayde van Niekerk retained his 400m global crown and bagged silver in a hard-fought 200m final, while Ruswahl Samaai earned bronze in the long jump contest.
“Well done to all our athletes who competed in London, and congratulations to all the medallists. They have delivered stunning all-round performances,” said Peet van Zyl of In-Site Athlete Management.
“We are tremendously proud of what they have achieved here, and we believe they have the ability to reach even greater heights as they continue to challenge for well-earned places among the global track and field elite.”

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SEMENYA GEARS UP FOR ANOTHER MEDAL CHARGE


Caster Semenya will line up as the title favourite on Sunday, after cruising through the women’s 800m semifinals on Friday evening, on day eight of the IAAF World Championships in London.
The Olympic champion, who had already bagged the 1 500m bronze medal four days earlier, dominated her race in the penultimate round by taking the win in 1:58.90, and she progressed as the fastest qualifier for the final.
“The main thing for us now is that we have a strong field, but we’ll just try to relax as much as we can so we can do better in the final,” Semenya said.
Though she was expected to deliver another medal on the last day of competition, however, the Olympic champion remained cautious and was not getting ahead of herself.
“You can’t tell much, you can’t underestimate your opponents, you can’t calculate or measure them,” she said.
“It’s just about trying to enjoy your race.”
Gena Lofstrand put up another brave fight, after stunning her opponents to reach the two-lap semifinals, but she was unable to progress further after finishing eighth in her race in 2:03.67.
With two days of competition remaining, In-Site athletes had contributed four of the South African team’s record five medals at the global showpiece.

Caster Semenya will line up as the title favourite on Sunday, after cruising through the women’s 800m semifinals on Friday evening, on day eight of the IAAF World Championships in London.
The Olympic champion, who had already bagged the 1 500m bronze medal four days earlier, dominated her race in the penultimate round by taking the win in 1:58.90, and she progressed as the fastest qualifier for the final.
“The main thing for us now is that we have a strong field, but we’ll just try to relax as much as we can so we can do better in the final,” Semenya said.
Though she was expected to deliver another medal on the last day of competition, however, the Olympic champion remained cautious and was not getting ahead of herself.
“You can’t tell much, you can’t underestimate your opponents, you can’t calculate or measure them,” she said.
“It’s just about trying to enjoy your race.”
Gena Lofstrand put up another brave fight, after stunning her opponents to reach the two-lap semifinals, but she was unable to progress further after finishing eighth in her race in 2:03.67.
With two days of competition remaining, In-Site athletes had contributed four of the South African team’s record five medals at the global showpiece.

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VAN NIEKERK SHINES WITH ANOTHER MEDAL

Wayde van Niekerk spearheaded the In-Site contingent on Thursday evening, on another superb day of athletics at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Two days after retaining his 400m world title, Van Niekerk grabbed second place in the men’s 200m final, delivering a spectacular effort and dipping on the line in 20.11.
He became the first South African sprinter to earn two medals in individual events in a major global championship.
“It was really a massive rollercoaster for me, this competition,” Van Niekerk said.
“I didn’t just celebrate the medal I got tonight. It was more a celebration of the competition overall.
“Coming away with two medals, both a good colour – gold and silver – I think it’s great for my career and another moment to be grateful for.”
Earlier, middle-distance star Caster Semenya had no trouble in her 800m heat, while Gena Lofstrand produced a sterling effort to ensure she joined her in Friday’s semifinals.
With the 1 500m bronze medal in her pocket, Semenya proved she still had plenty left in the tank by winning her race in 2:01.34, and though Lofstrand settled for seventh place in her first-round contest, her front-running effort carried her home in 2:01.73 as she too qualified for the next round.
“I just want to keep winning. That’s all I’m concentrating on,” said Semenya, who was aiming to reclaim the global two-lap crown she lifted in 2009.
“I’m feeling okay after the 1500m, so I’m ready to go again.”
After bouncing back to regain top form this year, sprinter Justine Palframan finished seventh in her 200m semifinal in 23.21 and she was unable to find a place in the final, though she did well to get as far as she did in the pressure-filled cauldron in the English capital.
After seven days of competition, In-Site athletes had earned four medals (one gold, one silver and two bronze).

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VAN NIEKERK QUALIFIES FOR 200M FINAL

Aiming to make history in London by becoming the first man in 22 years to win the 200m/400m double at the IAAF World Championships, Wayde van Niekerk took another step forward on Wednesday night by booking his place in the final of the half-lap sprint.
Van Niekerk grabbed third place in his semifinal in 20.28, less than 24 hours after successfully defending his 400m title, progressing safely through to the medal decider, to be held on Thursday evening.
“I knew it would be a tough challenge, so to see my name in the final is a real pleasure,” Van Niekerk said.
“I’ve got time to recover now and give it my all in the final.”
While his close friend and compatriot made it through, Akani Simbine was unable to find top form in the cold and wet conditions, and he settled for seventh place in his semifinal in 20.62.
Earlier in the week, Simbine had done well to progress to the 100m final where he finished in fifth place, but with a niggling hip injury hampered by the conditions, he missed out on a place in the 200m contest.

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VAN NIEKERK WINS WORLD TITLE AGAIN

Defending champion Wayde van Niekerk led the charge for In-Site athletes on Tuesday evening, storming to another impressive victory in the men’s 400m final and retaining his title on the fifth day of the IAAF World Championships in London.
Well clear down the home straight, with Wednesday’s 200m semifinals on the back of his mind, Van Niekerk eased off approaching the line but still won comfortably in 43.98 seconds.
He was 0.43 ahead of Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas, who took the silver medal.
“It is amazing to win the world title again,” Van Niekerk said after the race.
“It is a blessing and I hope the fans enjoyed that.”
Hoping to emulate American great Michael Johnson by winning the long-sprint double, Van Niekerk remained confident of his chances in the 200m event.
“I’m used to the lactic (acid in my legs) but I need to recover from that effort and I’ll be fine,” he said.
“I’ve got a good team who will help me recover well for the 200m and I’m looking forward to that.”
Earlier, World Student Games 400m champion Justine Palframan did well to progress beyond the first round of the women’s 200m event, taking fourth place in her race in 23.35.
She was set to compete again in the half-lap semifinals on Thursday.

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SEMENYA STUNS 1 500M FIELD TO BAG BRONZE

Delivering a spectacular kick on the final lap, Caster Semenya chased down nearly the entire field to earn the bronze medal in the women’s 1 500m final on Monday night, on day four of the IAAF World Championships in London.
A relatively unknown prospect in the metric mile, the 800m specialist again displayed her remarkable talent across a variety of distances, dipping on the line to end third in 4:02.90 in a sprint finish.
“I’m really happy with the bronze,” said Semenya, who was due to chase another medal in the 800m event later in the week.
“Obviously a lot can not go your way in a final, so to come out with a bronze is amazing.
“I was hoping for a better time, but the 1 500m is a tactical race. I tried to find my own space but fortunately I managed to get away with the bronze.”
Earlier, in the men’s 200m heats, there was no trouble for sprinters Wayde van Niekerk and Akani Simbine.
Van Niekerk won his first-round contest in 20.16 and Simbine, who had finished fifth in the 100m final despite battling with a hip niggle, cruised home in second place in his race in 20.26.
Both men qualified for the half-lap semifinals on Wednesday, with Van Niekerk also set to compete in the 400m final on Tuesday night.                                                                           Lydia Jele of Botswana put up another brave fight in the women’s 400m semifinals, but she settled for fifth position in a fast race in 51.57 and was unable to find a place in the final.

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VAN NIEKERK SETS THE PACE AHEAD OF 400M FINAL

Versatile sprinter Wayde van Niekerk will turn out in defence of his global 400m title on Tuesday night, after securing his place in what is expected to be a hard-fought final at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Van Niekerk, who lines up in the 200m heats on Monday, won his semifinal in 44.22, setting up a clash against a handful of world-class speedsters in the battle for the 400m medals.
Despite the stiff competition he had faced this season, he remained a dominant force in the one-lap event and was set to go into the blocks as the pre-race favourite.
“With all the rounds ahead of me, and all the running, I have to be conservative,” Van Niekerk said.
“With the quality of competition I am running against, it doesn’t make the job easy. I just have to take it step by step and hope for the best.”
In other disciplines, In-Site athletes had mixed results on day three of the biennial track and field showpiece.
After coasting through the heats, Antonio Alkana was unable to progress further, ending fourth in his 110m hurdles semifinal in 13.59 and narrowly missing out on a place in the final after a superb breakthrough season.
Lydia Jele of Botswana qualified for the penultimate round of the women’s 400m event, to be held on Monday, by finishing fourth in her first-round heat in 51.41.

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SAMAAI EARNS WORLD CHAMPS BRONZE

SAMAAI EARNS WORLD CHAMPS BRONZE

Ruswahl Samaai was in top form on Saturday night, securing the bronze medal in the men’s long jump final on day two of the IAAF World Championships in London.
After climbing from fifth position to third with a leap of 8.27m in round five, he went on to reach 8.32m with his last attempt, joining countryman Luvo Manyonga on the podium in a historic event for South African athletics.
“I live for competition, and I struggled with a tight hamstring today, but before I jumped the 8.27, something shot in my mind, saying: You can do this. You have the ability to jump far,” Samaai said.
“I went back, relaxed, enjoyed the moment and it came, so I’m happy with the performance and the bronze medal.”
Meanwhile, after winning his 100m semifinal in 10.05 seconds, national record holder Akani Simbine grabbed fifth place in the final in 10.01, holding his own against the world’s best in track and field’s blue ribbon discipline.
“I’m really happy that I made it to the final and placed well. So I’m happy with the race,” Simbine said.
Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya progressed safely beyond the women’s 1 500m semifinals, taking third position in her race in 4:03.80.
She booked her spot in the final of the metric mile, to be held on Monday.
“The race was great. It was just about getting into the final and being safe, so we’re happy with the outcome,” Semenya said.
“Now it’s all about going back, resting and preparing for the final.”

/Ends

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