Sprinter Anaso Jobodwana, distance runner Stephen Mokoka and rower Kirstin McCann all grabbed gold as South Africa claimed a five-medal haul at the World Student Games.
Jobodwana clocked 10.10, matching his personal best and missing the national record by just 0.04 seconds, to win the men’s 100m final on the third day of the multi-sport event in Kazan, Russia, yesterday.
Mokoka, meanwhile, produced an astonishing sprint over the last kilometre to win the men’s 10 000m final in 28:45.97.
It was Mokoka’s third medal in the longest track event of the university showpiece after earning the silver medal at the 2011 Games in Shenzhen and bronze at the 2007 Games in Bangkok.
He dominated the entire race, starting fast and seemingly toying with the field as he regularly changed the tempo over 25 laps.
“I wanted to run the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships, but it was too hot and humid so I decided to drop back and go with the guys after five laps,” Mokoka said.
“But then a big bunch was formed, and I don’t like the jostling in a big group, so I decided to break it up by moving forward and coming back.”
In the women’s discus throw, Maryke Oberholzer grabbed the bronze medal with a best heave of 54.09m.
While she had hoped to climb higher up the podium, she was hampered by the wet weather during the evening track and field session. Oberholzer was pleased to add to the country’s medal tally.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will later. It feels good,” she said.
“I could have taken second place, because I was aiming for 58 or 59 metres, but the weather wasn’t great.”
In the morning session McCann held off Russian Olga Arkadova by a little more than four seconds to win gold – the country’s first medal of the Games – in the A final of the women’s lightweight singles sculls, finishing in 8:10.62.
“It was such a hard race and she (Arkadova) pushed me so hard,” said McCann, who also won gold in her specialist event at last year’s World University Rowing Championships at the same venue.
“It’s not often you get to see the SA flag raised, so to show the world that South Africa is on top, and can compete at this level, is awesome.”
Minutes after McCann crossed the line, the women’s coxless fours team – Claire-Louise Bode, Kate Christowitz, Holly Norton and Catherine Stark – secured the country’s second medal when they pocketed silver in the A final of their event in 7:07.44.
Elsewhere, the men’s hockey team notched up their first win of the tournament, scoring four goals in the first half as they beat Poland 4-2.
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