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Marioné Fourie, Antonio Alkana rule the hurdles, Munyai on song at SA championships

Marioné Fourie wins the 100m semi-final race at the Green Point Stadium where Athletics South Africa is currently hosting the Track & Field national championships. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Marioné Fourie wins the 100m semi-final race at the Green Point Stadium where Athletics South Africa is currently hosting the Track & Field national championships. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 22, 2022

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Cape Town — Marioné Fourie had to contend with a long delay, but she showed her class to power to the gold medal in the 100m hurdles at the South African athletics championships at the Green Point Stadium on Friday.

The 19-year-old Gauteng North athlete was the strong favourite for the title, but was nearly disrupted by a more than 15-minute pause in cold and windy conditions.

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The entire field had to wait in the starting blocks — believed to be due to sticking to the official schedule in line with the TV broadcast — and the chilly breeze that blew across the home straight didn’t help matters either.

Fourie and the rest of the field had to contend with a headwind of -2.7 metres per second, and it resulted in much slower times. She has a personal best of 12.93 seconds — which is not far off Rikenette Steenkamp’s SA record of 12.81.

But Fourie had to be satisfied with a winning time of 13.43 as she completed her set of hurdles without fault to clinch the title.

Charlize Eilerd took the silver medal in 14.00, while Marzaan Loots was third in 14.17.

In the men’s 110m hurdles final, favourite Antonio Alkana held off the challenge of veteran Ruan de Vries to claim the gold in 13.48 seconds.

Alkana has been getting quicker throughout the season, but it was again difficult to get close to his SA record of 13.11.

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Earlier on Friday afternoon, Clarence Munyai underlined his status as the leading contender for the gold medal in the men’s 200m final on Saturday with a blisteringly quick run in his semi-final.

Munyai lined up in the last race out of three, and stormed to a superb victory in a thrilling time of 20.03 seconds — although there was an illegal wind behind him of 2.3 metres per second.

He left the rest of the field in his wake, with the second-placed athlete, Bradley Olifant, producing a time of 20.56.

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In the first semi-final, Luxolo Adams showed that he will be the main rival to Munyai by cruising to a comfortable 20.31 win.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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Athletics

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