Van Niekerk’s stablemate Shaunae Miller-Uibo won the women’s 400m in a 49.11 world lead, ahead of Marileidy Paulino, a member of Dominican Republics golden mixed 4x400m relay, and Sada Williams of Barbados.
The men’s 4x100m relay team finished third in their heat behind France (38.09) and Canada (38.10), but their 38.11 earned them a fourth seeding for the final on Saturday (Sunday morning SA time).
The US won the first heat in 37.87.
Henricho Bruintjies started in 10.78, followed by Emile Erasmus who clocked 9.06, the fastest time of both heats, going quicker than even newly crowned 200m world champion Noah Lyles of the US.
Clarence Munyai went around in 9.52 and then Akani Simbine, fifth in the 100m final, took it home in 8.95, the second-best anchor leg of the second heat and and third-fastest overall.
If Erasmus can hold his form, with Bruintjies and Munyai shaving time off their performances, SA could win a berth on the podium. They finished fifth at the last championships in 37.73, having set a 37.65 national record in the heats, but two of that team, Thando Dlodlo and Simon Magakwe, have since been suspended for doping offences.
Prudence Sekgodiso finished fifth in her 800m semifinal in 2min 00.01sec, failing to win a spot in the final. It was better than her 2:01.60 effort in the heats, but short of her 1:58.41 personal best, which would have been good enough to get through.
The 20-year-old should chalk her Eugene campaign down to experience.