Athletics World Cup Review

Sunette Viljoen raises her fist as a sign of truimph after winning the Athetics World Cup Javelin event in London. Photo by John Sibley/Reuters

Team South Africa put up great display to finish in seventh position at the inaugural Athletics World Cup, in London, in the United Kingdom, at the weekend.

The two-day event which featured the top eight nations of 2017 saw the USA make history by becoming the first country to win the World Cup title.

However, SA dominated in certain events and will head into next month’s CAA African Senior Championships, in Nigeria, full of confidence.

Luvo Manyonga, Rikenette Steenkamp and Sunette Viljoen all bagged victories in their respective disciplines at the Athletics World Cup.

Manyonga who was crowned long jump world champion last year had a great day at the office in his specialised event. With athletes taking part in field events limited to four attempts, the Paarl born Manyonga made the most it. His consistency proved to be vital in picking up the gold medal and eight points for SA after jumps of 8.51m, 8.48m, 8.50m, and 8.50 in his final attempt.

Steenkamp from Athletics Gauteng North stormed her way to the gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles clocking 12.88 seconds. On her way to victory Steenkamp beat favourites Jeanine Williams and Queen Harrison from Jamaica and the USA who finished in second and third respectively. This was the fifth time this season that the four-time national 100m hurdles record holder dipped under 13 seconds.

Two-time Commonwealth Games champion Viljoen was in third position for the most part of the women’s javelin event. However, her final throw of 61.69m was good enough to see her win the gold medal.

In other action, Eastern Cape born Luxolo Adams finished second in the men’s 200m sprints, clocking 20.45 seconds. Adams has had a season to remember after being crowned champion in the half-lap sprint event at the ASA senior champs, followed by a personal best time of 20.01 seconds in the men’s 200m sprints five days later and now taking the silver medal at the Athletics World Cup.

Derrick Mokaleng who is based in the USA had a good outing in London after he finished runner-up in the men’s 400m race, clocking 45.48 seconds. This was Mokaleng fourth fastest outdoor time this season after clocking 45.02, 45.08 and 45.17 seconds, in competitions, in the USA.

While Boland’s Victor Hogan grabbed the silver medal in the men’s discuss event with a 63.73m heave. The seven-time national discuss champion came into the competition in a good vein of form finishing first and second with distances of 65.20m and 63.38m, at meets, in France and Belgium.

The men’s 4x100m relay team led by the 100m bronze medallist Simon Magakwe produced a stellar performance to finish in third place clocking 38.53 seconds. The rest of the relay team included Antonio Alkana, Roscoe Engel and Luxolo Adams.


Written by Keagan Mitchell