Beijing – Team SA notched up two places in the final of the IAAF World Championships.
The “Double Ws” – Wayde van Niekerk (400m) and Wenda Nel (400m hurdles) – will give South Africa a first shot at a medal at the ongoing IAAF World Championships in their respective finals on Wednesday.
Van Niekerk will face off against the United States’ LaShawn Merritt, Botswana’s Isaac Makwala and Grenada’s Kirani James.
Van Niekerk clocked 44.31 seconds in the semifinals yesterday. Merritt (44.34) finished as his runner-up.
Nel reached the final of her event with a second place finish in 54.63 in her semifinal.
“I’m here to win a medal,” said the modest Van Niekerk after he reached first world senior championships final.
Makwala said he and the South African champion would “die for Africa”.
“Yes we are doing it for our countries but we must die for Africa!”
There was also misfortune for Team SA on Day 3 as six team members failed to progress in their respective events.
All three long jumpers – Khotso Mokoena, Zarck Visser and Rushwahl Samaai – were eliminated in the first round.
Justine Palframan came last in 52.45 seconds in the women’s 400m heats and javelin thrower Rocco van Rooyen finished 28th with his best throw of 75.55m.
Carina Horn came sixth in her 100m semifinal in 11.15 seconds.