JOHANNESBURG – Rising sprint star Thando Roto fell just short of claiming a South African 100m golden treble at the World University Games in Taipei on Thursday.
Looking to emulate national record-holder Akani Simbine and 2015 world 200m bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana, Roto finished second in the 100m on Thursday, missing out on gold by 0.02 seconds.
Roto clocked 10.24 to finish behind local hero Yang Chun-han of Taiwan.
Simbine won the short-sprint title two years ago in South Korea, following in the footsteps of Jobodwana, who completed the 100m-200m double in Kazan, Russia in 2013.
Going away with silverware provided some comfort to Roto after he was disqualified for a false start in the heats of his maiden world championships in London earlier this month.
Earlier, Tatjana Schoenmaker won South Africa’s first medal at the Games, bagging silver in the women’s 200m breaststroke in a new personal best time of 2:24.61.
The promising South African swimmer finished second behind Japan’s Kanako Watanabe, who touched first in 2:24.15, with Mariia Temnikova of Russia rounding off the podium in third place with 2:24.73.
Meanwhile, University Sport South African (USSA) announced it would hold a disciplinary hearing against 400m athlete Pieter Conradie.
Conradie, who was part of the South African team, left before his scheduled race to participate in Thursday night’s Diamond League final in Zurich.
Conradie received news that he earned a lane in the Diamond League final while in Taipei, and requested to depart the village.
But according to USSA, the head of delegation declined his appeal.
USSA has accused Conradie of unpatriotic behaviour after he withdrew from the team.
“We wish to register our disappointment by such conduct of the athlete,” USSA said in a statement.
“Such conduct does not represent the values of a true patriotic South African. If USSA had been made aware of such arrangements prior to the team announcement in July 2017, a deserving student from any member university would have been afforded the opportunity to represent his/her country.”