Hérouville-Saint-Clair - Tebogo Mamathu and Thando Roto had to overcome chilly and wet weather conditions on Thurday at the Elite d’ Herouvill Saint-Clair Meeting in France to finish second and third in their respective 100 metre finals.
Veronique Mang (France) won the women’s 100m final in 11.55 seconds with Mamathu (Tuks) second in 11.60 seconds and Eva Berger third in 11.83.
It would seem as if Roto (Tuks/HPC) did not allow the cold to get to him. He won his heat in 10.36 seconds and ran even faster in the final, clocking a time of 10.31 seconds for a third-place finish.
The 38-year-old Dwain Chambers, a former world indoor champion, won in 10.29 seconds with Josh Swaray, also from Britain, second in 10.30 seconds.
Roto’s best time in the 100 metres is 10.27 seconds.
The last international competition for the two South African sprinters will be on Saturday when they will compete in Nivelles, Belgium.
Two weeks ago Roto won the 100 metres at a meeting in Salamanca, Spain. Unofficially his time of 10.15 seconds was his best time ever and he would have qualified for the Olympic Games in Rio, but unfortunately the wind from behind (+2.6m/s) was too strong.
Roto was unable to compete during most of last season. He injured his hamstring tendon at a training session three days after he competed in his first league meeting. Strangely enough, this setback seems to have motivated him.
“My coach, Hennie Kriel (Tuks/HPC), played a major role to keep me motivated. “
“He taught me to take responsibility for my own actions. He is a great motivator who knows how to get his athletes to perform at their best when it matters.”
According to Roto, being able to compete in Europe over the past four weeks was a good experience.
“I am quite happy with my performances. I have learnt that taking responsibility for my career is the key to success and that you have to be prepared for anything and everything here in Europe.”
LJ van Zyl (Tuks/HPC), who finished 4th (50.21s) in the 400-hurdles at the Diamond League Meeting in Stockholm last night, said although the weather conditions were far from perfect he has only himself to blame for not running a faster time.
“I felt quite strong over the second half of the race but, as I have said before, the 400-hurdles is a very unpredictable event.
"Things can go awry very quickly. Last night I did not execute my technique perfectly going over the last hurdle. This turned out to be a costly mistake because I lost my rhythm and there were simply not enough metres left in the race to get to top speed again." said van Zyl.
Javier Culson (Puerto Rico) won in 49.43 seconds with Kerron Clement (USA) second in 49.87 seconds and Patryk Dobek (Poland) third in 49.89 seconds.