JOHANNESBURG – A trio of South African athletes, spearheaded by national 100m record-holder Akani Simbine, made their presence felt on the international stage at the weekend.
Simbine and Dominique Scott-Efurd raced at the Adidas Boost Boston Games, with former world 200m bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana featuring at the Jamaica Invitational.
Racing on a raised track on Boston’s Charles Street, Simbine was pipped to the line, finishing second clocking a wind-aided 10.03 seconds.
Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes took the honours, dipping at the line in 9.99, with former world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica rounding off the podium, posting a time of 10.17.
Jobodwana walked away with third place in his half-lap sprint race in cold and wet conditions at the Jamaica Invitational Meeting in Kingston, crossing the line in a time of 20.70.
The time may seem pedestrian compared to his season’s best of 20.07, but Jobodwana did well to land a spot on the podium.
Local 18-year-old Christian Taylor took the spoils, crossing the line in 20.49, with two-time world 400m champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States posting the same time as Jobodwana, but bagging silver in a photo finish.
It was Jobodwana’s first race since he moved back to America to join up with his wife and first-born child.
Here is me, me got whooped today . But it sure feels good to be back in atmospheres like this. Lets get back to work . pic.twitter.com/NnOc0A0mhC
Meanwhile, Scott-Efurd posted a new 1 500m personal best in Boston on Saturday.
She has been a model of consistency, constantly lowering her lifetime bests in her middle-distance events.
The American-based Scott-Efurd will be happy with her first performance since joining Joe Bosshard’s training group, which includes world 3 000m steeplechase champion Emma Coburn of the United States.
Scott-Efurd crossed the line in fourth place with a time of 4:07.20, to knock 0.84 off the previous best set in 2017.
Happy with a solid season opener this evening @adidasBoostBos! PR - 4:07.20 for 4th. Grateful to be doing what I love, be healthy and have an amazing support team behind me!!#TakeChargeBoston #LikeABoss #DomSquad @adidasrunning
Ethiopia’s 2016 world indoor medallist Dawit Seyaum finished first with a time of 4:04.65, with American runner Charlene Lipsey of the United States bagging silver in 4:04.98.
Norway’s Karoline Grøvdal rounded off the podium, taking third place in 4:06.18.
Meanwhile, South African middle-distance queen Caster Semenya will be looking to take her red-hot form into the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon in the US next Saturday.
The Commonwealth Games 800m-1 500m double gold medallist will go up against a quality field that includes world bronze medallist Ajee Wilson and perennial challenger Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi.
Scott-Efurd will also line up in Eugene, where she will be racing in the 5 000m at Hayward Field.
She will be lining up against some of the globe’s best distance athletes such as Kenyan world champion Hellen Obiri and Ethiopian star Genzebe Dibaba.