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Viljoen takes Silver in Daegu

Day 7 will go down as one of the best days of South African athletics, as first Sunette Viljoen, then the 4x400m relay team medal and Caster Semenya qualifies for the womens 800m final.

Africa record and World Championship Bronze for Viljoen

Sunette Viljoen stunned the Javelin World with her 5th round throw of 68.38m to take the Bronze Medal on day 7 of the IAAF World Championships in Deagu Korea. Viljoen had shown she was a danger by hitting 66.34m in Shenzhen, China when she defended her World Student title leading up to the World Championships. She was still the underdog behind Maria Abajumova (RUS), Christina Obergfoell (GER) and Babora Spotakova (CZE). Spotakova (World record holder) and Abakumova traded blows in the final two rounds before the Russion clinched the title and in the process setting Championship record in the final round with a throw of 71.99m. Spotakova had gone into the lead briefly as she sent the javelin to 71.58m to go past the 71.25m that Abakumova threw in the second round. But the German Obergfoell was expected to challenge for the medals as well. Viljoen went into the Bronze Medal position in round 2 after throwing 65.20m. The German responding in the 4th round with a 65.24m throw to briefly push Viljoen out of the medals. That was until Viljoen sent the Javelin to 68.38m in the 5th round. And that was enough for the Bronze.

Van Zyl leads SA to Silver in the 4x400m relay.

A scorching second leg, a blistering final leg and solid efforts by the men’s 4x400m relay team saw South Africa bring their medal tally to three at the World Championships and three SA Records. Shane Victor lead off the relay team who were running in lane 8, and did well to hand over the batton to Ofenstse Mogawane in 3rd behind the Jamaicans and Americans. Mogawane scorched into the lead in the backstraight and handed over to Willie De Beer who did well to not let the Jamaicans and Americans who passed him, get away. De Beer handed over to van Zyl who immediately went onto the shoulder of the leading Jamaicans. The 400mh Bronze Medalist did well to try and hold of Leshawn Merrit of the USA whilst chasing down the Jamaicans. However Merrit had to much speed and passed van Zyl and Jamaica in the final 50m. Van Zyl also going past the fading Jamaican to clinch South Africa’s first ever 4x400m relay medal at a World Championships. The whole team that competed in the relay (heats and finals) are awarded the silver medal, which means that Oscar Pistorius is included in the medal presentation.

Semenya through to final

Earlier on Caster Semenya booked her place in the final of the Women’s 800m with a convincing Season’s Best performance of 1:58;07. Semenya ran in the last of the three semi-finals. The defending champion moved into the lead in the final 250m and was never headed, to book her place in the finals.

Manyonga 5th in Long Jump

At his first World Championships, 20 year-old Luvi Manyonga ended in 5th place. The World Junior Champion started the competition with an 8.21m leap. That was his best, and was good enough for 5th. Then followed a foul, followed by a 7.82m leap in round 3, before he fouled on his last three attempts. At 20 though, the prospects for him to add to the World Junior Title, are very good indeed.

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