Two-time world champion, Wayde van Niekerk kept his medal hopes alive on Tuesday night, progressing safely through to the men’s 400m final at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Van Niekerk finished third in his semifinal in 44.65 seconds of the World Athletics Championships. It was sufficient to qualify on time for the medal battle to be contested on Thursday. 

The world record holder was the sixth fastest in the penultimate round, with Jamaican athlete Antonio Watson setting the quickest time (44.13). 

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Former South African champion Zakithi Nene ended sixth in his one-lap semifinal in 45.6. But he was unable to secure a lane in the final.

Taking another step forward in what has already been a superb season, Marione Fourie finished third in her first-round heat in the women’s 100m hurdles. 

She crossed the line in 12.71, keeping her World Championships campaign alive by reaching the semifinals. Her compatriot, Taylon Bieldt, took seventh place in her 100m hurdles heat in 13.05 and did not progress. Another hurdler, Zeney van der Walt, finished eighth in 55.49 in her 400m hurdles semifinal. 

Though she struggled to put up a fight in her last race of the showpiece, Van der Walt closed out a tough three-day schedule after reaching the second round in both the 400m hurdles and flat 400m sprint.

Wayde van Niekerk through to the World Athletics Championships
Wayde van Niekerk


Schedule of SA athletes, Day 5 (Wednesday, 23 August):

Morning session: 

800m women, heats (Prudence Sekgodiso) 

Pole vault qualification, men (Kyle Rademeyer) – 10.15am 

Javelin throw qualification, women (Jo-Ane van Dyk) – 10.20am/11.55am 

Long jump qualification, men (Cheswill Johnson) – 11.15am 

(Shaun Maswanganyi, Luxolo Adams, Sinesipho Dambile) – 12.50am – 200m heats, men 

Evening session: 

8.40pm – 100m hurdles semifinals, women (Marione Fourie).

Source: Athletics South Africa


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