2024 Jun 28



ASA Media

ASA Offices
ASA Media
2024 Jun 28

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, Cameroon. 

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), Briaan 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 JamesMoloi, 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 gratefull 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 Olympics."

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, arrive this afternoon at 4pm.

* SA records and Olympic qualifying performances are subject to standard ratification processes

**  Results subject to amendment due to continued technical challenges experienced by the hosts.

* Cameroon is the home country