Potential SA medallists into Olympic finals

8 August 2012

There were no medals up for grabs for Team South Africa at the London Olympic Games on Tuesday, but some potential medal winners put themselves in a position to add to the team’s haul of three gold medals and one silver.

Bridgitte Hartley, competing in the women’s kayak single (K1) 500 metres, qualified for the semi-finals of the event after finishing second in her qualifying heat behind Hungary’s Danuta Kozak.

She fared even better in the first of the three semi-finals, clocking 1:51.286 to win her race in the second fastest time among the women to advance to the final.

Hartley is the fastest women ever in a K1 over 500m, having recorded a world record time of 1:46.90 at the World Championships in 2011, where she contested the B-final!

Automatic qualifier

Sunette Viljoen needed just one throw to qualify for the final of the javelin throw, her distance of 65.92m bettering the automatic qualifying mark.

That effort was top of qualifying group B and the third best of the day, trailing only defending champion and world record holder Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic and Germany’s Christina Obergfoll.

Viljoen leads the world standings this year after thowing an African record of 69.35m in New York on 9 June. Spotakova placed second on that occasion with a distance of 68.73m.

“I felt really good this morning after all the training that I’ve done,” Viljoen told reporters afterwards.

“I know what I’ve put in and it is just a matter of time to let everything come together.”

Semi-final place

Lehann Fourie posted his best time of the season in the men’s 110m hurdles heats of 13.49 seconds. That was good for second behind Cuba’s Dayron Robles, the defending champion, who posted a time of 13.33. It also put him into the semi-finals.

Anaso Jobodwana placed second in his 200 metres heat behind the Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, the European champion in the 100 metres, who has chosen to run the 200m in London.

The South African stopped the clock in 20.46, while Lemaitre ran a 20.34.

Jobodwana’s reward is a place in the semi-finals. He goes in heat two and faces, among others, two-time 100m champion and the defending champion in the 200m, Usain Bolt.

800 metres

Andre Olivier missed out on the final of the 800 metres after finishing fifth in heat three of the semi-finals.

He went through halfway in last place, but moved his way up to fifth down the back straight. Olivier, though, couldn’t find another gear and couldn’t improve his position as he finished in 1:45.44. Mohammed Aman, the first place finisher, crossed the line in 1:44.34.

Men’s hockey

At the Riverbank Arena, the South African men’s hockey team lost 6-3 to Argentina.

The match started well for South Africa as goals from Justin Reid-Ross and Lloyd Norris-Jones had them leading 2-0 after only eight minutes.

The next five goals, however, went the way of the South Americans. Facundo Callioni and Gonzalo Peillat both struck twice as Argentina scored three field goals and three penalty goals.

Jonty Robinson scored a late goal for South Africa, which made it 5-3 before Peillat netted his second to double up South Africa’s score.

Gregg Clark’s charges play their last game on Saturday when they face India in a playoff for eleventh place.

Triathlon

Richard Murray finished 17th in the 55-strong men’s triathlon in a time of 1:49:15.

Gold went to British triathlete Alistair Brownlee, with Spain’s Javier Gomez in second, and Brownlee’s younger brother Jonathan in third. The winning time was 1:46:25.

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