2017 In Pictures: 10 Defining Moments
There are few more passionate about their subject than sports photographer Rodger Sedres, who often seems to be on a personal crusade to promote athletics and running in South Africa. Sedres travels all over the world, photographing SA’s best athletes and helping them get the recognition they deserve.
Here, he chooses his best images from 2017…
Kings of Africa
IAAF World U18 Championships, Day 4
Retshidisitswe Mlenga competes in the semi-final of the men’s 200m during Day 4 of the IAAF World U18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15 July. The 17-year-old goes on to win gold in the men’s 200m final in a season’s best time of 21.03. South Africa amasses a total of 11 medals over the five-day championships, topping the table.
IAAF World Championships, Day 8
Caster Semenya races Briton Lynsey Sharp in the semi-final of the women’s 800m during Day 8 of the IAAF World Championships on 11 August. SA’s middle-distance runner goes on to clinch gold. Semenya also won the gold medal in the women’s 800m at the 2016 Rio Olympics – and it didn’t go down well with Sharp, who finished sixth. Sharp famously broke down in tears, saying: “Everyone can see it’s two separate races, so there’s nothing I can do.”
IAAF World Championships, Day 10
Lebogang Shange of South Africa walks past Buckingham Palace during the men’s 20km race walk on 13 August. He is enjoying a brief lead, having catapulted his way to the front of the pack from 20th place! He eventually finishes fourth, 14 seconds off the podium.
IAAF World Championships, Day 2
Akani Simbine, SA’s fastest man, finishes fifth in the men’s 100m final, during Day 2 of the IAAF World Championships. His disappointing performance, he says, is the result of muscle issues.
So Near, And Yet…
IAAF World Championships, Day 6
Wayde van Niekerk competes in the semi-final of the men’s 200m during Day 6 of the IAAF World Championships in London on 9 August. Van Niekerk is hoping to clinch the first 200-400m double since Michael Johnson 20 years ago, but it’s not to be – he’s pipped to the post by Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev.
Western Province Street Athletics
Children from Blue Downs participate in the Western Province Street Athletics, held in Wesbank Main Road on 23 August. The event gives children from all areas the opportunity to actively participate in athletics. It combats the growing challenges of childhood obesity, gender equality and social cohesion.
Mother City Marathon
Sanlam Cape Town Marathon
Participants run the early kilometres of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon through the city centre, with the iconic silhouette of Table Mountain behind them. The Cape Town Marathon becomes Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label race. The next step will be to join the likes of New York, Berlin and London as one of the World Marathon Majors – a dream of the organisers.
SA Cross Country Championships
Ronen Oosthuizen of Athletics North West helps Mpho Mitchell of Athletics Gauteng North in the Boys U16 6km race during the South African Cross-Country Championships in Potchefstroom on 9 September. Mitchell had collapsed during the race; and Oosthuizen, who initially ran past him, stopped, turned around, helped him to his feet, and is seen here supporting him over the last 150 metres to the finish line. Allan Smith, national sales manager at Asics South Africa, posts the picture on Facebook, and the touching gesture goes viral – it is shared almost 15 000 times, and receives more than 3 300 comments.