SA’s Zenéy van der Walt falls short in 400m semi-final

South Africa's Zeney Van Der Walt gestures before the women's 400m semi-final

South Africa's Zeney Van Der Walt gestures before the women's 400m semi-final during the World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest on Monday. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP

Published Aug 21, 2023

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South Africa’s Zenéy van der Walt failed to reach the final of the women's 400m after finishing 8th in heat 1 of the world championships semi-finals in Budapest on Monday evening.

Van der Walt had earlier in the day impressed as she reached the semi-finals of the women’s 400m hurdles.

Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic claimed first place ahead of Rhasidat Adeleke to advance to the final from the heat.

In the women’s 100m semi-finals, Jamaican legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce produced an impressive display to suggest she is in good enough form to equal pole vaulter Sergey Bubka's record six world titles in one event.

The 36-year-old sporting a trademark colourful wig got her usual fast start and eased up before the line to time 10.89sec.

She has had a truncated season due to a knee injury and if anyone is to deny her the gold it looks like either teammate Shericka Jackson or veteran Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou.

Both looked sharp in a tough semi-final with reigning 200m world champion Jackson just getting the verdict over two-time world silver medallist Ta Lou though both recorded the same time of 10.79sec.

They left third-placed Sha'Carri Richardson enduring nervy moments in the fastest losers' lounge to the side of the track.

However, the charismatic American progressed as one of the two fastest losers, although she will have to avoid a repeat of her dreadful start if she is to win a medal.

The winner of the third and slowest semi-final, Julien Alfred, did well to recover from receiving a yellow card for her reaction time when she was first called to her blocks.

The 22-year-old St Lucia sprinter started slowly but powered through to pass Britain's Dina Asher-Smith, who also was overtaken by Brittany Brown.

Former champion Asher-Smith, though, went through to the final as the second of the fastest losers, edging out Poland's Ewa Swoboda by one thousandth of a second.

Reuters and IOL Sport

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