South Africa finish second at CAA Champs in Asaba

Pocketing nine more medals on the final day of competition, South Africa finished second in the overall standings on Sunday at the CAA African Senior Championships in Asaba, Nigeria.

The national team completed their five-day campaign with more medals than any other squad at the biennial championships, bagging a total of 30, though they had two fewer golds than their Kenyan rivals, earning a tally of nine gold, 13 silver and eight bronze.

Three athletes took home gold medals on the last day, spearheaded by another spectacular performance from Caster Semenya who won the 800m final in 1:56.06, adding to the 400m gold she won in a national record of 49.96* two days earlier.

"I was testing my limits and seeing how far I could go after running 49 (in the 400m) and 1:56.06 is a beautiful time," Semenya said. "I couldn't have asked for more."

Ncincilili Titi also won gold in the 200m Men, charging over the line in 20.46, with countryman Luxolo Adams bagging bronze in 20.60 and missing out on silver by less than one hundredth of a second.

"I knew it was going to be tough so I just did everything I could to be prepared and be strong mentally so I could overcome any challenges," Titi said. "It was a great experience and a memory I will cherish for a long time."

Adding another double to the team's tally, Ischke Senekal won the Shot Put with a 17.24m effort, and Mieke Strydom earned bronze with a 15.99m throw.

Other athletes who grabbed silver medals included Phil-Mar van Rensburg in Javelin Throw (76.57m), Lebogang Shange in the 20km Race Walk (1:25:25), Triple Jump star Zinzi Chabangu (13.59m) and the national 4x400m Relay Men team (3:03.50).

Hurdles specialist Wenda Nel also reached the podium, taking bronze in the 400m race over the barriers in 57.04 seconds.


* SA record subject to standard ratification procedures


-Athletics SA