Three-medal haul on road in Russia lifts SA students’ collection to 11
SOUTH AFRICA’S road running contingent were delighted yesterday after scooping three medals in the men’s halfmarathon at the World Student Games in Kazan, Russia.
Gladwin Mzazi won the individual gold medal, outsprinting countryman Stephen Mokoka, who grabbed silver, to secure victory in the men’s road race in 1:03.37.
Xolisane Zamkele was seventh in 1: 05.38, as the trio claimed the team gold medal, lifting Team South Africa’s tally to 11 medals in total.
Mzazi, who won the 10 000m title at the 2009 Games in Belgrade, and was fifth in the halfmarathon at the 2011 Games in Shenzhen, was pleased to have achieved his goal.
“I’m very happy to have won the race. I wanted to go home with a gold medal,” Mzazi said.
“We took control from the start, and obviously if there is team work it makes things much easier.
“We struggled a bit over the last 10km because the temperature was getting higher and higher, so the weather affected us, but we did very well.”
Mokoka, who won gold in the men’s 10 000m final earlier in the week, also said they had battled in the hot and humid conditions, and he was glad they had worked together as a team.
“The main goal was to get the team gold because we have never won the team competition before.
“Everything went according to plan,” Mokoka said.
In the women’s halfmarathon, Thembeka Ngwenya was 20th in 1:32.24, while Thitshaamba Ravhandalala withdrew shortly before the finish.
In the swimming pool in the morning session, Richard Ellis clocked 25.97 seconds to book his place in the semi-finals in the men’s 50m backstroke event, to be held in the evening.
Elsewhere in the evening session, on the track, Rynardt van Rensburg lined up in the men’s 800m final, with Jeromy Andres and Andries Hlaselo doing likewise in the men’s 5 000m final.
The men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams, and the women’s 4x400m quartet, will also compete in the finals of their events.
FINAL NAIL: Bryce Hegarty scores the match-winning try for the Rebels yesterday.