JOHANNESBURG - Visually impaired duo Ndodomzi Ntutu and Hilton Langenhoven earned another 100m gold-silver double for South Africa at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Thursday.
Ntutu was in fine form dashing over the line in first place with a time of 11.02 with Langenhoven following in second place with a season’s best of 11.27.
“I tried to run as fast as I can but winning the gold medal, aargh, nothing can describe the feeling that I am feeling at the moment,” Ntutu said.
“I’m sure it will hit me even harder when I get home,” he added.
The sprinting stars followed in the footsteps of Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies, who gave South Africa its first 1-2 finish in the 100m sprint event on Monday.
Ntutu said although they did not consciously decide to emulate Simbine and Bruintjies, they targeted medals in their race.
“In terms of coming one and two or getting into the medals they inspired us, and we were giving it our all and running hard to get gold and silver,” said Ntutu,
Hard-working one-lap hurdler Wenda Nel was finally rewarded for her years of perseverance as she won the bronze medal.
Nel took it out fast in the 400m hurdles final but lost some steam as she approached the second last hurdles. She still hung on for third with a time of 54.96 seconds.
Jamaican Janieve Russell surged over the home straight to cross the line in 54.33 with Eilidh Doyle bagging silver in 54.80.
“I just raced for that line and I didn’t immediately know if I was on the podium until I saw the result,” Nel said.
“I went out very hard, that was the plan, I wanted to push my body and see what I am capable of.”
Nel said she stumbled over her final hurdle but was delighted to keep her composure to deliver the goods.
South Africa’s hopes for another sprint medal in the 200m came to nothing with national half-lap record-holder Clarence Munyai just missing out on the podium and complaining of an injury he sustained in his semi-final the day before.
Munyai finished in a creditable fourth place in his first final at major senior championships after initially crossing the line fifth with a time of 20.58.
He got bumped up to fourth place after England’s Zharnel Hughes got disqualified for a lane infringement.
“I have a hamstring problem from yesterday’s (Wednesday) semi-final and I thought it would hold but going into the home straight I pulled up because I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with these guys,” Munyai said after the race.
Munyai’s injury would be a major blow to South Africa’s 4x100m relay team with Bruintjies, Emile Erasmus, Simbine, Anaso Jobodwana, and Antonio Alkana left to get the job done.
Jobodwana’s name was initially pencilled in for the 200m final but he was later disqualified. He false started when he recorded a reaction time less than 0.100 seconds and instead of being shown the red card the referee flashed the green warning sign allowing him to get back into the blocks.
Jobodwana finished the race in second place, posting a time of 20.61 seconds to earn him a place in the final only to be told afterwards that he would be disqualified.
The South African team sent out a media release stating that it had filed an appeal, but the decision was upheld.
This time around WE 🇿🇦lost the fight(those who were fighting with me) but with every negative, whatever it may be, there's always positives. Take responsibility and use that disappointment as fuel.⛽Thank you guys. 🙏🏾@clarence_munyai bring home the GOLD. 🇿🇦🙏🏾🛠️🌪️ pic.twitter.com/8SVKTBOJo4
“Team South Africa has accepted the official decision to disqualify 200m athlete Anaso Jobodwana from the semi-finals of the event on Wednesday evening,” the statement read.
“However, Team South Africa have advised that they will be requesting that the relevant federation, in this case, Athletics South Africa, take the matter up further with the international body, the IAAF.
“Team South Africa had appealed after Jobodwana had appeared to false start, then been permitted to race, and then finally disqualified after the semi-final had been run and he had placed second.”
Meanwhile, Caster Semenya marched through to Friday's two-lap final by winning her heat in 1:59.26 and is on target to claim the rare 800-1 500m double at the Games .
Semenya looks almost certain to become only the third woman to win the double at the quadrennial showpiece.