Phora reaches 400m semis at World Champs

2019-10-01 22:15
Athletics (File)

Cape Town - Despite the absence of defending champion Wayde van Niekerk in the battle for the podium, due to a long-term knee injury, South Africa could have another representative in the men's 400m final at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar later this week.

Carrying the SA team on Tuesday, sprinter Thapelo Phora finished third in his one-lap heat, clocking 45.45 and booking his place in the semi-final on Wednesday.

Though he also delivered a solid performance, taking fifth position in his heat in 45.87, Derrick Mokaleng narrowly missed out on a spot in the penultimate round by just 0.05.

Former world champion Kirani James of Grenada was the fastest athlete in round one, completing the circuit in 44.94.

In other events on Day 5 of the track and field spectacle, teenager Zeney van der Walt was unable to make an impact in the women's 400m hurdles, settling for sixth place in her first-round heat in 57.11.

Van der Walt, who won the world junior title last year, would nevertheless have gained some valuable experience after lining up against the world's best.

In the men's 3 000m steeplechase heats, Rantso Mokopane was unable to progress beyond the opening round, ending 13th in his race in 8:42.22.

South Africa goes into Day 6 on Wednesday without a single medal with five days to go.

- Athletics SA

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