#TuksAthletics: Zenéy van der Walt’s Personal Best wins bronze at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in England

Posted on August 07, 2022

Zeney van der Walt of TuksAtheltics, won bronze with a time of 54.47 seconds in the women's 400 m hurdles final at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. She is a BEd Senior Phase and FET Teaching student at Tuks.

During the final, halfway through the race, she was eighth. With 50 m left, she was in fifth place. It looked like a done deal that the three Jamaican athletes would make a clean sweep-winning all three medals. But that was not how van der Walt saw the race concludes. With an astonishing acceleration of speed, she caught up to clinch a bronze medal. 

Janieve Russell of Jamaica, won in 54.14s. Shiann Salmon and van der Walt both clocked 54.47s and only separated with milliseconds. If the South African had dipped earlier, there was a chance that she could take the silver. 

In the end, it is not the result that matters. What mattered is that the Tuks hurdler proved she had big match temperament and she could race the world's best. 

The Jamaicans are ranked amongst the ten fastest this season in World Athletics. Russell and Rushell Clayton (fourth at the Games) both clocked 53.63s to be joint seven fastest. Salmon's best of 53.82s is, for now, the 10th fastest. 

Van der Walt set her new personal best during the Games. During the 2022 World Athletics Champs in Oregon, she clocked 54.81s. She is now officially South Africa's fourth fastest female 400m-hurdles athlete. Only Myrtle Bothma (53.74s), Surita Febbraio (54.05s) and Wenda Nel (54.37s) have been faster and led the World Athletics ranking list.

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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