Orazio Cremona had a splendid display in at the SA Champs. Photo: EPA
South African shot put ace Orazio Cremona produced one of the highlights of the SA Senior Track and Field Championships, winning his eighth consecutive national title with a massive personal best heave of 21.51m in Germiston yesterday.

It was quite an accomplishment for him on the final night of the championships, considering there were stellar performances by South African 100m record holder Akani Simbine, world long jump champion Luvo Manyonga and one-lap hurdler Lindsay Hanekom.

Cremona extended his personal best by 39cm, edging himself closer to Janus Robberts’ national record of 21.97m from 2001. World junior gold medallist Kyle Blignaut demonstrated why he is considered to be a future star by finishing second with a massive new personal best of 20.03m.

Hanekom, who has been battling with form since he made his maiden appearance at the Rio Olympics, won the 400m hurdles in a time of 48.81, dipping below 49 seconds for the first time. He becomes the joint fastest South African one-lap hurdler of all time, knocking 0.22s off his previous best from 2016. “I am just happy I could come out here and execute, do my best; last year was not good for me except for SAs,” Hanekom said.

“I have been struggling with a tendon and went to London with some sort of pain, and I ran 54 seconds which motivated me.”

Seven-time women’s 400m hurdles champion Wenda Nel suffered her first defeat since 2013 when world youth and junior champion Zeney van der Walt, who came tantalisingly close to beating her at last year’s championships, got the better of her “idol” with a winning time of 55.93sec. Nel followed in second place in 56.07.

The men’s 200m final did not quite produce the fireworks with Simbine claiming his maiden half-lap sprint title quite comfortably with a time of 20.27. Talented youngsters Chederick van Wyk (20.64) and Theodore Young (20.71) were second and third, with Anaso Jobodwana fourth in 20.73.

In the long jump, Manyonga won his third national title with a winning distance of 8.35m. African champion Ruswahl Samaai (8.21m) was second and Zarck Visser (8.01) third.


Sunday Tribune

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