Lifestyle & Belief

Another South African sporting legend shot by robbers


Heavyweight boxing champion Corrie Sanders works out ahead of a 2004 fight against Vitali Klitschko in California.


Doug Benc

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Two South African sporting legends have been shot in front of their families during robberies, one of them fatally.

A former Olympic hurdler was shot during a robbery at her home late Friday, it was reported today, while world heavyweight boxing champion Corrie Sanders was shot and killed when robbers stormed a restaurant Saturday. 

Karen Harmse, formerly Wilkinson, was the African champion in the 100-meter hurdles in the 1990s, and competed for South Africa at the Atlanta Olympics. 

The 46-year-old is recovering after being shot in the shoulder during a farm attack near Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg, the Beeld newspaper reported.

A gang of about five people robbed Harmse and her family of their cell phones, computers, wallets and cars, according to the report.

Sanders, a South African who won the WBO heavyweight title in 2003, was shot twice by robbers who entered a restaurant in Brits, near Pretoria, during a family birthday party and began firing at random.

Sanders was fatally shot in the stomach while trying to shield his 15-year-old daughter from the gunfire, Beeld said.

Eyewitness News reported that Sanders, 46, didn't have medical aid, and so instead of being taken to a nearby private hospital, he was taken to a state hospital in Pretoria where he died during emergency surgery.

The South African Press Association reported that police are continuing to investigate Sanders' death, and have yet to make any arrests.

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