South African Athletics

SA trio on form in Madrid

2014-07-20 12:28
Khotso Mokoena (Getty)

Madrid - Two-lap specialist Andre Olivier, jumper Khotso Mokoena and sprinter Carina Horn were the best of the SA contingent at the World Challenge meeting in Madrid on Saturday evening.

Olivier produced a well-judged effort in a slow, tactical men's 800m race, just four days before the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow, but he was pipped on the line.

Tucked in behind the leaders at the bell, Olivier worked hard round the final bend and hit the front in the home straight.

He faded in the last few metres, however, to finish second in 1:46.13, with Job Kinyor of Kenya edging the South African in a sprint finish in 1:46.11.

Horn, who did not meet the stringent qualifying criteria for the Glasgow Games, grabbed fourth place in a tightly contested women's 100m sprint, clocking 11.16 seconds.

She was 0.01 outside her personal best, albeit with the benefit of a +2.6m/s tail wind.

Lekeisha Lawson of the United States was credited with the same time in third place, while fellow American Barbara Pierre won the race in 11.08.

Mokoena, who will compete in the triple jump in Glasgow, warmed up for the showpiece with fourth position in the men's long jump in the Spanish capital.

The former Olympic silver medallist climbed to third place in the final round with his best jump of the night (8.00 metres), but moments later Spaniard Eusebio Caceres leaped 8.16m to bump him back down the ladder and snatch the win.

Mokoena's training partner, Zarck Visser, who will turn out in his specialist event at the Games, settled for fifth position with a best jump of 7.94m.

Caster Semenya, the only other South African competing in Madrid, took 11th place in the women's 800m race in 2:06.84.

The former world champion, who will not compete in Glasgow, continued her poor run of form as she settled for last place, more than 11 seconds off her five-year-old national record.

Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain won the race in 1:59.72.

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