JOHANNESBURG – Wayde van Niekerk carried South Africa to a record medal haul on Thursday night, at the IAAF World Championships in London, England.

In a hard-fought race, Van Niekerk added the 200m silver to his 400m gold, covering the half-lap distance in 20.11 seconds. He was just off the pace of Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev who took the title in 20.09.

“It was really a massive rollercoaster for me, this competition,” Van Niekerk said. “I didn’t just celebrate the medal I got tonight, it was more of a celebration of the competition overall.

“Coming away with two medals, both a good colour – gold and silver – I think it’s great for my career and another moment to be grateful for.”

His second medal boosted South Africa to a record haul, raking in the national team’s fifth podium place (two gold, one silver and two bronze) with three days of competition remaining at the Track and Field showpiece.

Meanwhile, Caster Semenya kept her own double medal hopes alive. 

After earning bronze in the 1 500m event earlier in the week, the Olympic 800m champion won her heat over the two-lap distance in 2:01.34 to reach the semifinals on Friday.

Gena Lofstrand ensured there would be two South Africans in the penultimate round on Friday by finishing seventh in her heat in 2:01.73.

Justine Palframan’s campaign came to an end, however, in the 200m women semifinals, after she too took seventh position in her race in 23.21.

There was no luck for javelin throw athlete Rocco van Rooyen who was eliminated in the qualifying round of his specialist discipline with a best heave of 74.02m.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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