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Baptism of fire for SA hurdler Marioné Fourie at Commonwealth Games

Marioné Fourie in action at the Track & Field national championships in Cape Town

FILE - Marioné Fourie in action at the Track & Field national championships in Cape Town. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 5, 2022

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Cape Town — Marioné Fourie has enjoyed a major growth spurt in her career this season, but on Friday at the Commonwealth Games she also learnt how difficult the women’s 100m hurdles world can be.

The 20-year-old from Pretoria laid down a marker for 2022 when she won the South African title in Cape Town in April.

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She qualified for the world championships in Eugene, US with a personal best time of 12.93 seconds, and matched that time in finishing fifth in that semi-final at the Hayward Field arena.

But it was a baptism of fire at her first Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday.

With only the top two athletes from the three heats gaining automatic qualification for the final, Fourie was always going to hope that she could advance as one of the two ‘fastest losers’.

In a race with a strong wind of +2.5m/s behind her, the Tuks speedster seemed to battle with the elements over the first few hurdles.

Fourie eventually recovered and completed the race in solid fashion to finish third in 13.04.

But there was an anxious wait for the next two heats to be completed to see whether she had done enough to make Sunday’s final.

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However, Canada's Michelle Harrison (12.85) and Australian Celeste Mucci (12.96) went quicker and knocked Fourie out of the competition.

The outright favourite for the gold medal will be world champion and record-holder Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, who posted the fastest time of 12.40 in the heats on Friday.

Team SA will hope for better luck in the evening session at the Alexander Stadium on Friday, when Kyle Blignaut will fight it out for a medal in the men’s shot put final.

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@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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