Caster Semenya led the charge on Friday night, as In-Site athletes showed superb form in the build-up to the IAAF World Championships in London next month with fine performances at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco.
African long jump champion Ruswahl Samaai and teenage sprint sensation Retshidisitswe Mlenga ensured it was a winning weekend for In-Site’s athletes, racking up convincing victories at major international competitions.
Samaai proved he was in superb form ahead of next month’s IAAF World Championships in London by winning his specialist discipline at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat on Sunday.
Launching a leap of 8.35m, he earned another confidence-boosting victory by landing two centimetres further than American athlete Jarrion Lawson, who took second place.
“I am really jumping well at the moment and I’m hoping to keep in good shape and stay healthy,” Samaai said afterwards.
Mlenga, meanwhile, bagged three medals at the IAAF World U-18 Championships in Nairobi.
After taking second place in the boys’ 100m final earlier in the week, clocking 10.61 seconds, he went on to grab gold in the 200m in 21.03.
The 17-year-old prodigy closed out his campaign by joining compatriots Gontse Morake, Sokwakhana Zazini and Zeney van der Walt as they grabbed bronze in the mixed 4x400m relay final, completing the race in 3:24.45.
“I feel really blessed and I’m so happy because I came back to win gold (in the half-lap race),” Mlenga said.
“I want to thank everyone who supported me.”
He made a significant contribution, helping the SA team finish top of the table with 11 medals (five gold, three silver and three bronze).
“Well done to both these athletes for shining again on the international circuit,” said Peet van Zyl of In-Site Athlete Management.
“Ruswahl has proved he is on track to target a medal at the World Championships, and Retshidisitswe has stuck up his hand as one of South Africa’s brightest young stars.”
Wayde van Niekerk was the star performer at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday night, leading a trio of In-Site athletes as they put up a fight against the world’s best sprinters.
Pacing himself well in his first international 400m race of the season, the world record holder covered the one-lap distance in 43.62 seconds to secure another historic victory, taking 0.04 off the meeting record held by American great Michael Johnson which had been set 21 years earlier.
He also clocked the fastest ever 400m time at a Diamond League event, climbing to the top of the 2017 world rankings.
“The public was great. That really helps in an event like the 400m,” Van Niekerk said.
“It is my first race in Europe this year and my first 400m. I didn’t come with a specific time in mind but I am pleased with this result.”
Meanwhile, fellow sprinters Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies pushed their opponents to the line in the men’s 100m race.
Simbine finished third in 9.99, just 0.03 behind Justin Gatlin of the United States who took the win.
Bruintjies again proved he was in the best shape of his career, finishing sixth in 10.15.
“It’s important to be consistent in the build-up to the IAAF World Championships in London next month, and all three of these men are showing tremendous consistency,” said Peet van Zyl of In-Site Athlete Management.
“Well done to these athletes on delivering great performances once again. They have had superb seasons thus far, and I’m sure there is still plenty to come from all of them.”
Sprinter Akani Simbine and long jumper Ruswahl Samaai were the star performers on Tuesday evening, leading a large contingent of In-Site athletes at the annual Istvan Gyulai Memorial track and field meeting in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.
Simbine finished second in both the men’s 100m and 200m events.
Over the shorter distance he completed the race in 9.99, just behind American Justin Gatlin who held off a late charge by the South African to win in 9.98, while former national record holder Henricho Bruintjies earned fourth position in 10.11.
In the half-lap sprint, Simbine completed the race in 20.21, with Isiah Young of the United States securing victory in 20.14.
Samaai, meanwhile, won the men’s long jump with a leap of 8.34m, setting a new meeting record.
He was well clear of American athlete Jeff Henderson, the Olympic champion, who produced a best effort of 8.18m in second place.
Hurdler Antonio Alkana finished fifth in the 110m race over the barriers in 13.31, while Lydia Jele of Botswana also grabbed fifth spot in the women’s 400m event in 52.20.
Alyssa Conley finished sixth in the women’s 200m sprint in 11.41, Lynique Prinsloo was sixth in the women’s long jump (6.34m) and Jacob Rozani ended eighth in the men’s 800m contest in 1:47.27.
“Well done to all the athletes. It was an impressive all-round performance and again proves they are on track for the IAAF World Championships in London next month,” said Peet van Zyl of In-Site Athlete Management.