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Ntutu wins gold for Team SA as athletics squad keeps medal count ticking


Track and field athletes kept South Africa’s medal count ticking over on Thursday night, raking in two more medals for the national squad at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Visually impaired sprinter Jonathan Ntutu won gold, charging to victory in the men’s 100m T11/12 final, dipping on the line in 10.83 seconds (with the benefit of a +3.7m/s tailwind).

He held off a challenge from England’s Zachary Shaw, who snatched the silver medal in 10.90.

ALSO READ: Akani Simbine still hungry for gold after Commonwealth Games silver

In the field, long jumper Jovan van Vuuren also stepped on the podium after a thrilling battle in the final of his specialist event.

Van Vuuren landed at 8.08m in the second round, taking the bronze medal.

Laquan Nairn of Bahamas won gold with a leap of 8.06m, with the top four athletes finishing within three centimetres of each other.

Narrow miss

Mandilene Hoffman missed out on the podium, taking fourth place in the women’s discus throw F42-44/61-64 final with a 29.93m heave, while compatriot Yana van der Merwe ended fifth with a best throw of 28.82m.

After seven days of competition at the multi-sport Games, the SA team were lying sixth in the overall standings with 22 medals (seven gold, seven silver and eight bronze).

While the nation’s medal haul looked to be drying up, after a stunning all-round performance by the SA swimming squad earlier at the showpiece, Kyle Blignaut was hoping to ensure the team continued to put up a fight.

Olympic finalist Blignaut was set to compete in the men’s shot put final on Friday night.

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