Athletics reporter

Burger Lambrechts won his third African shot put title in Benin on the opening day of the Continental Championships.

His opening throw of 19,51m was good enough for the gold medal in tricky conditions. Torrential rain made the circle slippery for all competitors.

Lambrechts won his first Africa title in 1998, was a silver medalist in 2004 and a gold medalist in 2010.

“It is great because I am not young anymore. At 39, I enjoy competing with the younger guys. I will continue for as long as my body allows it, although I know that it will get more difficult with time to compete at this level,” said Lambrechts after the win.

South Africa were denied a clean sweep of the medals in the shot put by Egypt’s Yasser Fathy Ibrahim (18,78m) who claimed the bronze medal ahead of Jaco Engelbrecht (17,91m). Orazio Cremona’s second round put of 19,19m earned him the silver medal, representing a step up the podium from his bronze in 2010.

In the men’s 100m, Simon Magakwe and Roscoe Engel qualified for the second round. Magakwe won his heat in 10,39sec and Engel progressed (10,58sec) after finishing third in his heat. Hannes Dreyer did not make it through to the next round having clocked 12,26sec after sustaining a slight hamstring injury. The semi-finals had to be postponed due to torrential rain.

All SA athletes in the men’s 400m proceeded to the next round. Ofentse Mogawane clocked 46,37sec, finishing second in his heat with Willie de Beer third, finishing the race in 46,80sec, and Pistorius second in 46,32sec in the fifth heat.

The SA women solidified their spots in the next round of the 400m with Tsholofelo Thipe, Rorisang Ramonnye and Estie Wittstock heading into today’s semi-finals. Thipe comfortably won her heat in 52,06sec ahead of Raasin McIntosh (LBR) with a 52,63sec clocking. Ramonnye beat her competitors to win her race in 53,58sec and Estie Wittstock also went through after clocking the same time to finish fourth in her race.

Other SA athletes to go through to the next round are Zarck Visser in the men’s long jump, with a leap of 7,47m, and Claudia Viljoen in the women’s 110m hurdles.