Independent Online

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Werner Visser brings home the gold as Akani Simbine falls just short at African champs

FILE - Discuss thrower Werner Visser in action in 2018. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

FILE - Discuss thrower Werner Visser in action in 2018. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jun 9, 2022

Share

Cape Town — Werner Visser was the unlikely hero at the African athletics championships for Team South Africa on Thursday as Akani Simbine just missed out on defending his 100m title.

Discus thrower Visser was expected to play second fiddle to his experienced SA teammate Victor Hogan in Mauritius, but instead, the 24-year-old turned the tables to snatch the gold medal with a final-round throw of 61.80m — which was just 19cm short of his personal best of 61.99m.

Story continues below Advertisement

Visser, though, could enjoy his last throw as he had already won the title at that point with his fourth-round effort of 60.42m, as Hogan threw before him and could only muster a best effort of 58.95m in his fifth round.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Akani Simbine wins silver as SA increase medals tally at African champs

Visser was the only gold medallist among the nine South Africans who secured podium spots in Port Louis.

The most dramatic event was the men’s 100m final, where Simbine was up against African record-holder Ferdinand Omanyala.

The Kenyan was the clear favourite, but Simbine roared out of the blocks and kept in touch with Omanyala before edging slightly ahead at one stage.

They went hard at the line, and the photo finish couldn’t be closer, with a time of 9.93 seconds being awarded to both athletes. But the officials had to find a winner, and Omanyala’s time was 9.927, compared to Simbine’s 9.930 — so the Kenyan won by three one-hundredths of a second.

Story continues below Advertisement

ALSO READ: Another gold medal for SA at African athletics champs

It was double success for South Africa, though, with Henricho Bruintjies claiming the bronze in 10.01.

Story continues below Advertisement

Carina Horn was hoping to grab a gold in the women’s 100m final, but it was not to be as Gina Bass of The Gambia took the honours in 11.06, followed by Niger’s Seyni Aminatou in 11.09. SA record-holder Horn ran 11.08 in the semi-finals, but clocked 11.14 in the final.

There was a bit of an upset in the men’s 110m hurdles final, with South Africa’s defending champion Antonio Alkana having to settle for a bronze medal in a time of 13.59.

Algeria’s Amine Bouanani was victorious in 13.26, followed by Jeremie Lararaudeuse of Mauritius in 13.55.

Story continues below Advertisement

The other South African medallists on the day were Cheswill Johnson (silver in the men’s high jump with 7.78m), Marione Fourie (bronze in the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.93) and Yvonne Robson (bronze in the women’s high jump, on countback, with 1.79m).

It was tough going for former 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya in the 5 000m final, though. Semenya was chasing a world championships qualifying mark of 15 minutes and 10 seconds (15:10.00), but finished in sixth position with a time of 16:03.24.

Fellow SA athlete Kyla Jacobs ended seventh in 16:16.06, with Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet clinching the gold medal with a time of 15:00.82.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

Related Topics:

Akani SimbineAthletics

Share