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Tshite misses out on final as Team SA battle on athletics track

South African 800m runner Tshepo Tshite (254) in action

South African 800m runner Tshepo Tshite (254) in action. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Aug 3, 2022


Cape Town — Team South Africa’s athletics team had another tough session on Wednesday at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

After a few days of action at the Alexander Stadium, they have yet to claim a medal — although it is hoped that situation will change on Wednesday night, when Akani Simbine lines up in the 100m final.

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In the Wednesday afternoon session, South African 800m star Tshepo Tshite would have hoped to go through to the final, having only competed in the heats at the world championships in Eugene, Oregon a few weeks ago.

But having 1:47.61 at the worlds, the 25-year-old wasn’t able to keep up with a rather pedestrian pace in Birmingham either.

Tshite kept himself in the mix throughout, alternating positions in the top five. But when the likes of England’s Jamie Webb and Scotland’s Guy Learmonth kicked over the last 100 metres, the South African was left behind, settling for fourth position in a time of 1:49.82.

Webb took the honours in 1:48.86, followed by Learmonth in 1:49.15 and Kenyan Elias Ngeny in 1:49.53.

The other South African who was scheduled to compete on Wednesday afternoon was 400m runner Zakithi Nene, but he did not arrive at the starting blocks, having displayed Covid-19 symptoms on Tuesday.

SA teammates Clarence Munyai and Emile Erasmus (4x100m relay) and Kyle Rademeyer (pole vault) had to pull out of their events after testing positive for Covid-19.

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On Tuesday night, Adriaan Wildschutt finished fifth in the men’s 10 000m final in a time of 27:53.57, while Yolandi Stander finished sixth in the women’s discus final with a best effort of 55.49m.

Simbine will run in the 100m semi-finals on Wednesday night at 8.10pm SA time, with the final at 10.30pm, while Dominique Scott-Efurd will compete in the women’s 10 000m final at 9pm.

As things stand, South Africa have earned 16 medals so far — six gold, five silver and five bronze — which places them fifth on the overall table, with Australia leading with a whopping 106 (42 gold, 32 silver, 32 bronze).

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