Surprise victory for Hanekom at USN Classic Shoot-Out finale

Lindsay Hanekom, a 400m hurdler, surprised a packed University of Johannesburg stadium when he won the men’s USN Classic Shoot-Out 600m on Friday, 16 February.

Talks about him swopping his specialist 400mh event for the tough 800m have been making rounds, and we wonder if it’s true. Making his first 600m appearance alongside seasoned 800m specialists Jabolane Ncamane, Hannes Naude, Kabelo Mohlosi and young-upcoming star, Theuns Ehlers, Hanekom kept his composure for most of the race and went on to win in a scintillating time of 1:16.48. Honestly, he made it look effortless. Running with a sound technique, the Western Cape born star tucked in behind leader right before they approached the 300m mark, and after going through the 400m in around 48 seconds (still in the second spot), he was suddenly swarmed by three athletes- Spider-Man included- who had their eyes set on crossing the finish line first. But Hanekom didn’t budge. Instead, he used his 400mh speed, surged away from the field with less than 60m until the finish line, and ultimately went on to win his first prestigious race longer than 400m. He held off the 2016 CAA African Senior Championships 800m finalist, Kabelo Mohlosi (1:16.60), and rising star, Theuns Ehlers (16.81).

Gena Lofstrand proved last year that she has what it takes to compete against the best in the world when she made it through to the semi-final of the women’s 800m at the IAAF world champs, and this year might be even bigger according to what she ran in the women’s race. As fearless as ever, she set out on a fast pace and not for one moment looked back. Lofstrand comfortably won the race in 1:29.12, giving us an indication of her current form. Marlie Viljoen, a promising athlete, took the silver medal in 1:32.78 while Nicole Louw ran 1:33.18 to take home the bronze.