Namibia’s Olympic 200m silver medallist Christine Mboma coming from 11.01s she ran two days ago, won the 100m at the first meet of the newly launched grand prix in Bloemfontein on Wednesday (16) in 11.15s while her compatriot Beatrice Masilingi was second in 11.24s.
Marione Fourie led in the good showing of South African athletes. She ran an impressive 13.10s personal best in 100m hurdles to beat had fighting Taylon Bieldt who ran 13.15s.
“It’s great,” said Fourie, whose 12.86 at the North Gauteng championships at the weekend was wind-assisted. “Just a little bit more to be done … technique and rhythm.”
Van der Walt, the 400m hurdles world champion at under-18 and under-20, took nearly a second off her best as she downed her main hurdles rival in a flat 400m battle.
She clocked 51.90 to beat Norway’s Line Kloster (52.34) into second place. Wenda Nel, SA’s long-reigning 400m hurdles champion, was fourth in 53.48 and Bieldt, racing only minutes after the 100m hurdles, was fifth in 53.92.
Nel was well short of her 400m best of 52.03, and Van der Walt’s form suggests she wants to make a serious grab at the national crown next month.
Shot put star Kyle Blignaut, sixth at the Olympics, was beaten into second place by training partner Jason van Rooyen, who returned to full training only two weeks ago after struggling with Covid-19.
Van Rooyen, a schoolteacher, threw a best of 20.64 on his third attempt, but he could have won this competition with his next three heaves of 20.59, 20.57 and 20.48.
“I’m over the moon,” said Van Rooyen, who fell ill on his birthday on February 4. “I was man down, I was out of it. My dad also got it and he just had a cough.
“I got back into full training two weeks ago.” he said.
Van Rooyen’s work days range from 10 to 12 hours. “I have to make time for training,” he admitted. “If the drive is there, you can do it.”
Blignaut, with a best throw of 20.43, lost his school’s under-17 record on the same day to Joshua Acker, who threw 27cm further as he registered 20.69.
But Blignaut didn’t mind. “Records are there to be broken. The record was a good one when I did it, but times change,” he said, adding that he lacked the mental toughness in his first competition of the year.