Pres­ti­gious track and field league has reached its half­way mark, so it’s a good time for to take stock

Daniel Mothowagae Di­a­monb League prize money

CityPress - - Sport - There are also re­wards for ninth- to 12th-place fin­ish­ers in dis­tance races and ninth-lane run­ners in sprints

Sprinter Anaso Jo­bod­wana and javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen have col­lected valu­able points in the Diamond League, mak­ing South Africa’s pres­ence felt. Jo­bod­wana (22) and Viljoen (31) have each amassed four points, plac­ing them­selves within reach of the top spot in their re­spec­tive dis­ci­plines – and a shot at the mas­sive prize money on of­fer in the 14-meet­ing se­ries.

The pair has made $12 000 each (R147 204) for fin­ish­ing sec­ond on two oc­ca­sions in their in­di­vid­ual events.

Jo­bod­wana is tied on four points with Amer­ica’s Justin Gatlin, Panama’s Alonso Ed­ward and France’s Christophe Le­maitre on the 200m leader­board.

The sprinter from Phakamisa, Eastern Cape, fin­ished as run­ner-up to Gatlin at the Pre­fontaine Clas­sic in the US on May 30, clock­ing a new na­tional record of 20.04.

Jo­bod­wana also came sec­ond to Le­maitre in 20.39 at the Oslo, Nor­way, Diamond meet a fort­night ago.

Mean­while, Viljoen is also hold­ing four points – with Marharyta Dorozhon of Is­rael, Lü Hui­hui of China and Christina Obergföll of Ger­many.

Viljoen also gath­ered her points cour­tesy of two run­ner-up spots – first with a 63.60m heave at the Shang­hai, China, event on May 17 and then with the 64.36m in Oslo two weeks ago. She is cur­rently ranked fourth. Hur­dler LJ van Zyl’s (29) sea­son best of 48.78 for a sec­ond place in New York last Satur­day earned him two points, six adrift of leader Johnny Dutch of the US in the 400m hur­dles com­pe­ti­tion.

South African mul­ti­ple record holder Stephen Mokoka has a sin­gle point in the 5 000m, four points be­hind leader Ha­gos Ge­brhi­wet of Ethiopia.

Mokoka earned his stripes with a time of 13:20.22 for a third place at a meet a fort­night ago.

De­fend­ing long jump cham­pion Khotso Mokoena (30) is yet to register a point in three com­pe­ti­tions.

He fin­ished fifth on ap­pear­ances in Oslo (7.90m), Birm­ing­ham (8.11m) and Shang­hai (8.10m).

“It is still a bit early and more events are com­ing up.

“It’s quite good see­ing South Africans do­ing well and keep­ing the South African track and field alive,” said Mokoena.

Mokoena, who was born in Hei­del­berg, will re­turn to ac­tion in the long jump in Paris, France, when the Diamond se­ries re­sumes on July 4 at the Stade de France.

“The next few meet­ings will be the triple jump. I needed time be­fore I do the triple jump again,” Mokoena noted.

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