Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Richardson qualifies fastest for 200m final at SA Athletics Champs

Wayde van Niekerk was second quickest in the semifinals.

Benjamin Richardson made a statement in the 200m semifinals on Saturday morning, again clocking the quickest time in the field on day three of the SA Athletics Championships in Pietermaritzburg.

Richardson, who was also fastest in the first-round heats the day before, won his semifinal in 20.35 seconds.

However, the 20-year-old athlete will need to be at his best in the final, to be held at 4pm on Saturday, when he will be flanked by 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk and in-form 200m specialist Sinesipho Dambile.

Van Niekerk won his semifinal in 20.42, coasting over the line, and Dambile took his race in 20.48 in the penultimate round.

Women’s semifinals

In the women’s 200m semifinals, Shirley Nekhubui won her race in 23.41 and Kayla la Grange took the other heat in 23.49. They will line up among the favourites for the national title at 3.50pm, along with 100m silver medallist Tamzin Thomas, who was second in her semifinal in 23.55.

Aside from the 200m medal contests, the packed afternoon programme at Msunduzi Stadium on Saturday also features a highly anticipated men’s 5,000m final.

National record holder Adrian Wildschutt will fancy his chances of winning gold but he will have a powerful field snapping at his heels. They run at 4.10pm.

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