Viljoen through as Van Zyl bows out

2016-08-17 05:10
Sunette Viljoen (Chris Kotze)

Rio de Janeiro - There wasn't much for Team South Africa to smile about after a tough evening session at the Olympic Stadium in Rio on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, SA time). 

The biggest disappointment came in the form of LJ van Zyl - the 31-year-old fading badly over the last 50m of his 400m hurdles semi-final to finish 5th and see his participation at the 2016 Olympics come to an end. 

It is surely the last time we will see Van Zyl at the Games.

The 2011 World Championship bronze medallist was comfortable for most of the race and looked like he would finish in the top two to secure a spot in the final, but he struggled immensely down the straight as he slipped down to 5th.

There was more disappointment on the track as Wenda Nel finished 6th in her 400m hurdles semi-final while Antonio Alkana finished 7th in his 110m hurdles semi-final. 

In the long jump, South Africa's Lynique Prinsloo was eliminated from her qualifying group with a jump of 6.10m her best. It fells 65cm short of the 6.75m needed to secure automatic qualification through to the final, while she was nowhere near the top 12. 

The only shining light for South Africa on an otherwise disappointing night was Sunette Viljoen, who needed just one throw (63.54m) to secure her place in Wednesday night's (Thursday morning, SA time) final.

Viljoen was one of only eight athletes who threw the minimum qualifying distance of 63m and she is a definite medal prospect for South Africa.

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

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