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Glory for Team SA as Jonathan Ntutu grabs 100m gold

Jonathan Ntutu rolled back the years to successfully defend his 100m title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday night

FILE - Jonathan Ntutu rolled back the years to successfully defend his 100m title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday night. Photo: @TeamSA2024/Twitter

Published Aug 4, 2022

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Cape Town — Jonathan Ntutu rolled back the years to successfully defend his 100m title at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday night.

The 36-year-old, originally from Gugulethu in Cape Town, ran in the T11/T12 class for visually impaired athletes, and displayed his prowess on the big stage once more to win in a time of 10.83 seconds.

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That was just outside the 10.80 he posted during a heat four years ago at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Ntutu, though, was made to work hard to secure a second consecutive gold medal in this event at Alexander Stadium on Thursday.

Mohamad Ali Hanafiah of Malaysia roared into the lead over the first 50 metres, but with about 30 metres to go, Ntutu's quick feet caught up to take him across the finish line ahead of England's Zachary Shaw (10.90).

It was a moment to savour for Ntutu, who has a Paralympic silver and bronze in a sizable medal collection.

Namibia's Ananias Shikongo, who had a guide alongside him, clinched the bronze in 10.95, with Hanafiah fourth in 11.10.

It was also a memorable night for Jovan van Vuuren in the long jump final, as he secured the bronze medal with a best effort of 8.06m.

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The South African champion was just unable to topple gold medallist Laquan Nairn of the Bahamas and Sreeshankar Sreeshankar of India, who both reached 8.08m — with Nairn winning on countback.

Van Vuuren matched the achievement of Ruswahl Samaai, who got the long jump bronze in 2014 and 2018 — while Luvo Manyonga won gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Games.

Shawn-D Thompson of Jamaica finished fourth with 8.05m.

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South Africa now have 22 medals, with seven each in gold and silver and eight bronze, which puts them in sixth position overall.

Meanwhile, Zeney van der Walt made a good start to her competition as she advanced to the final of the women's 400m hurdles.

Running in lane three, Van der Walt produced a measured performance. The 22-year-old took her time over the first half of the race, but once she hit the bend, the former world junior champion galloped into second position.

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Jamaica's Rushell Clayton was well in front from the blocks, and cruised to victory in a solid time of 54.93, followed by Van der Walt in 55.10.

Having been a semi-finalist at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon recently, where she posted a personal best of 54.81, Van der Walt will have to go even quicker in Saturday’s final (8.30pm SA time).

The favourites for the podium will be Jamaican trio Clayton, defending champion Janieve Russell and Shiann Salmon, who have all run under 54 seconds before.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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