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Wed Apr 23 16:06:00 SAST 2014

SA athletes enjoy successful day

Sapa | 07 August, 2012 14:260 Comments
South Africa's Sunette Viljoen competes in the women's javelin throw qualification at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 7, 2012
Image by: Kai Pfaffenbach / REUTERS

Richard Murray, competing in the most gruelling of races finished a creditable 17th out of 54 entrants in the Olympic Games triathlon on Tuesday. 

“My aim was to hurt myself as much as possible, and I achieved that,” Murray said, after Britain’s brothers, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, came first and third respectively.

Murray finished in one hour, 49 minutes and 15 seconds (1:49:15), just over two and a half minutes behind pre-race favourite Alistair Brownlee.

Javier Gomez of Spain won the silver medal.

“I knew seven minutes into the swim that the podium was not on,” Murray said.

“The group ahead slowed and I tried to close the gap on my own, but when I got onto the bike, I knew then that I was on my limit.” 

Murray never stopped fighting and completed the tenth fastest run of the day.

“They are the best in the world,” he said of the podium finishers.

“This is only my third year as a professional and my swimming is getting better.

“London was a possibility but my focus was on a medal in Rio.” 

The South African crew of Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson, competing in their ninth and 10th sailing events, in the 470 class, failed to make the grade for the final medal round, after finishing an overall 26th out of 27 entries.

The SA men’s hockey team went down 3-6 to Argentina in their final Group A game.

They still compete for a final classification position, against India, and a win would see them avoid finishing in last place.

Earlier, Bridgitte Hartley qualified first in her semi-final canoe sprint, in the K1 500m single women heats in Eton Dorney.

She came second in her heat, in one minute, 53.051 seconds (1:53.051) and went on to win her semi-final in an improved 1:51.286, taking her through to Thursday morning’s final.

In the men’s 110m hurdles, Lehann Fourie came second in his heat, in 13.49 seconds, which was a season’s best for him.

He finished behind Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles (13.33) and will compete later Tuesday in the third of the semi-finals.

Bronze medallist at the World Championships in 2011, Sunette Viljoen qualified in third place for the javelin finals, with a throw of 65.92m  In Wednesday night’s final, she will be up against Czech Barbora Spotakova, the gold medallist at the 2008 Olympic Games and Germany’s Christina Obergfoll, who took bronze in Beijing.

Anaso Jobodwana came second in the men’s 200m heats, in 20.46 seconds, behind Christophe Lemaitre of France, who qualified in 20.34.

Usain Bolt, running in the first heat, qualified in 20.39 and the two could meet in the semi-finals on Wednesday evening.

Jobodwana, studying at Jackson State University, Mississippi, received a special message of good luck from his father’s boss, Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele, who wished him well for the Olympic Games.

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