South Africa Back On Top Of African Athletics

The South African athletics team returned home at the wee hours of 2.20am on Friday as African
champions after dominating the medals table at the CAA African Senior Championships in Douala,

After finishing second behind Kenya at the last two editions of the continental showpiece, the
national team secured a total of 19 medals (including nine gold, four silver and six bronze) to
return to the top of the standings for the first time since South Africa hosted the event in Durban
in 2016.

The nine athletes who emerged triumphant in their events were Miranda Coetzee (400m), Rogail
Joseph (400m hurdles), teenager Ashley Erasmus (shot put), Jo-Ane van Dyk (javelin throw), Mire
Reinstorf (pole vault), Cheswill Johnson (long jump), Brian Raats (high jump), Kyle Rademeyer
(pole vault) and the mixed 4x400m relay team.

The silver medallists included Marione Fourie (100m hurdles), Mine de Klerk (shot put), Jana van
Schalkwyk (javelin throw) and Victor Hogan (discus throw).

Rounding off the podium performances, Danielle Nolte (long jump), Shannon Verster (heptathlon),
Collette Uys (shot put), Benjamin Richardson (100m), Alan Cumming (hammer throw) and Wayne
Snyman (20km walk) all earned bronze medals.

Standout performances were produced by 19-year-old Erasmus and the mixed 4x400m relay
team, who broke national records.

Erasmus led a South African sweep of the podium in the women's shot put final, winning gold with
a best throw of 18.17 metres. She added 29 centimetres to the long-standing South African record
of 17.88m set by Drienkie van Wyk in Germiston in 2002.

The mixed 4x400m relay team of Gardeo Isaacs, Shirley Nekhubui, Mthi Mthimkulu and Miranda
Coetzee, raced to victory in the final in 3:13.12. They shattered the SA record of 3:14.97 which had
been set by a different quartet at the ASA Grand Prix meeting in Johannesburg earlier this season.

Coetzee also shone in the women’s 400m sprint, retaining the African title she won in Mauritius
two years ago by completing the one-lap race in 51.16 seconds.

In the semifinals, she went even quicker, winning her race in 50.90 and dipping under the
qualifying standard of 50.95 for the Olympic Games in Paris in August.

“Our soldiers have fulfilled the mandate given to them at this championship and have reclaimed
the African crown after wrestling it from Kenya,” said an excited James Moloi, the President of
Athletics South Africa.

“The beauty of it all is that this mega achievement comes at the time when the whole Rainbow
Nation needs such inspirational stories. This comes also at a time when South Africa needed a
morale booster ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris, France next month under Team South Africa
led by SASCOC, our national Olympic mother body.”

Our entire Athletics Family is grateful to all athletes, coaches, managers, medical team and all
other support staff. In particular, we thank all athletes to continue to seek top performance
despite the dire challenges they all had to endure with the entire team during the entire
competition. We thank them for not allowing themselves to be distracted from the task of
representing South Africa first and fought for the honour of beating the rest of the continent to
earn the bragging rights. We thank provinces and the various sponsors at the different levels of
the season for making this all possible.

“We are now keeping our fingers crossed that World Athletics will accept this entire competition
as legitimate so that deserving athletes throughout Africa, including ours can be admitted to the

The bulk of the national team arrived in the chilly and awkward hours (2.20am) of the night on
Friday at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Only a small number of six which
include four athletes with medals, arrived this afternoon at 4.30pm.

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