Mkenku falters on first day of Champs

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

South African medal hopeful Nombulelo Mkenku crashed out of the 100m women's race on the first day of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on Tuesday.

But Mkenku has a chance to make amends in the 200m today.

The adored youngster is also expected to impress in the 4X100m relay team.

Mkenku finished second in her heat in 11,69 seconds on Tuesday but failed in the semifinal when she came last in 12,13 sec.

Another big shock on the first day for South Africans came in the shot put for men when Orazio Cremona, ranked fourth in the world, failed to qualify for the final.

Cremona had only one legal throw of 18,28m, well short of the qualifying mark of 19,50m.

Marcoleen Pretorius, who was also among the medal hopefuls in the high jump, failed to clear her first height of 1,70m and was eliminated. She is ranked seventh in the world.

Wilhelm van der Vyver was magnificent in his heat when he won the 100m in a time of 10,50 to qualify for the semifinals.

Van der Vyver set the second fastest time in the three semifinals, clocking a magnificent 10,38 to win the event to set himself up with a medal chance against the likes of American Terrell Wilks and Jamaican Dexter Lee.

Victor Hogan, the second best junior discus thrower in the world, qualified with a throw of 58,18m.

Tazmin Brits, gold medal winner in the javelin at last year's World Youth Championships, proceeded to the final with a throw of 51,69m while Stefan Brits made the final of the long jump with a distance of 7,32m.

Dumisane Hlaselo also made South Africans proud when he qualified for the final of the 1500m with a time of 3:47,35.

Andre Olivier also went through to the semifinal of the 800m with a time of 1:51,45.

Roscoe Engel was wiped out in the 100m, Riaan Arends in the long jump, while Raaghid Fredericks and Caster Semenya both flopped in the 800m.

"Our athletes experienced mixed fortunes on the first day with some of our medal hopefuls failing in their events," said Molatelo "Professor" Malehopo, Athletics South Africa's acting general manager.

"But it was not all doom and gloom because others made us proud. We will continue to motivate them."