JOHANNESBURG - South Africa continued its silver-medal run at the World University Games in Tapei, Taiwan, with one-lap sprinter Justine Palframan, 3000m steeplechaser Rantso Mokopane, and the men’s half-marathon team finishing second over the weekend.
The three second-place finishes added to the two silver medals from last week with the TeamSA falling well short of their target of 10 medals at the Games.
Female swimming sensation Tatjana Schoenmaker opened South Africa’s account in the 200m breaststroke, before Thando Roto also added silver on the track in the 100m sprint. Track and field again proved to be the biggest contributor to the country’s tally with four of the five medals won.
In Sunday’s half-marathon, Japan claimed a clean sweep of the podium in the individual event with South Africa’s quartet of Mokofane Kekana, Thabang Masihleho, Collen Mulaudzi and Mariano Eesou finishing second as a team. Kekana was the country’s best finisher, crossing the line in fifth place clocking 1:08.57, almost three minutes behind Japanese winner Kei Katanishi.
Steeplechaser Mokopane bagged his first medal at a major championships finishing second in a time of 8:36.25 with winner Krystian Zalewski finishing just 0.37 ahead of him.
Palframan continued her return to form on Friday evening winning the silver two weeks after she made the 200m semi-final at the IAAF World Championships in London.
Although she was unable to successfully defend her title, Palfrman still walked away with the silver medal with a season’s best and her second fastest career time of 51.83 seconds.
“There was definitely more pressure for me to perform at this edition of the Games,” Palframan said. Palframan finished just 0.07 behind Polish champion Malgorzata Holub.
Middle-distance ace Rynardt van Rensburg, who was tipped for a medal after winning bronze two years ago, finished eighth in the 800m final clocking 1:49.70 yesterday.
Compatriot Henco Uys came close to a podium spot crossing the line in fourth place with a time of 1:47.59.