SA ath­letes fin­ish on top

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VIL­LIERS

EMPHASISING the coun­try’s rise in global ath­let­ics, South Africa fin­ished at the top of the log at the IAAF World Un­der-18 Cham­pi­onships in Nairobi, Kenya.

South Africa’s small team bowed out of the age-group cham­pi­onships with a to­tal of 11 medals — five gold, three sil­ver, and three bronze.

Sprint­ing duo Tshenolo Le­mao and Ret­shi­dis­itswe Mlenga were re­spon­si­ble for two gold and two sil­ver medals in the 100m and 200m.

Rac­ing to rare dou­bles over both dis­tances Le­mao won the short sprint ear­lier in the week with Mlenga fol­low­ing be­hind him in sec­ond place with times of 10.57 sec­onds and 10.61 re­spec­tively.

Yes­ter­day the sprint­ing sen­sa­tions swopped po­si­tions with Mbenga dip­ping first in a time of 21.03 with Le­mao cross­ing sec­ond in 21.12.

It was a Su­per Satur­day that gave the South African team the edge win­ning three gold medals and a bronze.

Dur­ing the morn­ing ses­sion diminu­tive high jumper Brey­ton Poole im­proved his per­sonal best by six cen­time­tres clear­ing 2.24m for the ti­tle.

With his grav­ity-de­fy­ing at­tempt Poole, who is 1.72m tall, came within a cen­time­tre of Jac­ques Fre­itag’s na­tional youth best.

“I was pa­tient from the be­gin­ning and this made me more con­fi­dent as the event went on,” Poole said.

“I feel great, hav­ing set two best heights in the same com­pe­ti­tion. Pre­vi­ous coaches dis­cour­aged me be­cause of my height and I de­cided to work harder. To­day I proved them all wrong.”

Over­whelm­ing precham­pi­onships favourite Sok­wakhana Zazini did not dis­ap­point as he an­ni­hi­lated the rest of the field to win the 400m hur­dles in 49.27, al­most three sec­onds clear of his near­est ri­val.

The South African holds the youth world best of 48.84 he posted in South Africa in March.

It proved to be golden 400m hur­dles dou­ble for South Africa with Zeney van der Walt claim­ing a dra­matic vic­tory in 58.23 to edge out Ja­maica’s Sanique Walker by 0.04.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.