ASA Race Walking Championships & Inter-Provincial Review
Athletics South Western Districts Antonio Farmer finished in first place in the junior 10km category, at the ASA Race Walking Championships and Inter-Provincial, in Cape Town, yesterday. Photo by Backtrack Sports/ Keagan Mitchell
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Despite a fourth-place finish on the medal standings, Athletics South Western Districts (ASWD) put up a great display, at the Athletics South Africa (ASA) Race Walking Championships and Inter-Provincial, in Cape Town, yesterday. This comes after ASWD’s male athletes dominated their respective events in the sub-youth and junior categories. They even made it a clean sweep in the sub youth (13 years and younger) 3km section. Raymondre Samson, Shaun-Dre Webb and Eugene Noorman could not have asked for a better day at the office.
One of their other young stars on show was Antonio Farmer,17, from George who took the gold medal in the junior 10km category clocking 48min17sec. The youngster who led from start to finish was also awarded the best young male walker of the Championships. Farmer, a Grade 12 pupil York High School in the Southern Cape said he is proud of his performance despite the hot conditions. “The plan was to walk a personal best (PB) but conditions did not allow it. Nonetheless I won and I can finally say I’m a national champion. Credit should go to my coach Carl Meyer who has been by me every step of the way,” said the former Outeniqua Primary School pupil who has had a season to remember after he represented the country on two occasions.
In May, he took part in the International of Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Race Walking Team Championships where he finished in the top 50 in the boys’ U20 10km category clocking a PB of 46min49sec, in China. In April, he finished in second place at the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Southern Region youth and junior championships in the boys’ U20 10km category clocking 49min53sec, in Boksburg, Johannesburg. Two weeks prior to that he finished in the same position in the same event clocking 48min10sec at the ASA youth and junior championships, in Paarl. “My season has been exceptional because of everything I achieved. Now I need to work on my performances for next year,” he said. Inspired by Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) Lebogang Shange who finished in ninth and fourth place at the Commonwealth Games (April 2018) and IAAF World Championships (2017). “Shange came from a difficult background and that did not stop him from being who he is today. He is not only a role model to me but to many other young race walkers,” said Farmer.
In other action, Athletics Gauteng North’s (AGN) Mthunzi Mnisi won the 50km title in the senior men category clocking 4hrs46min42sec followed by KZN’s Aaron Mahlangu and CGA’s Jeffrey Pheagane. KwaZulu Natal Athletics (KZNA) star athlete Natalie Le Roux won the 50km title in the senior women’s category clocking 4hrs55min20sec. In the 20km senior men category CGA’s Lebogang Shange took the gold medal clocking 1hr31min01sec followed by AGN’s Sizwe Ndebele and Edwin Pule.
On the female front, ASWD’s Anel Oosthuizen took first position in the 20km senior women category clocking 1hr41min53sec followed by ACNW’s Zelda Schultz and CGA Nthatisi Mokhele. It was gold for Marrisa Swanepoel who recently took part in the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. Swanepoel clocked 25min56sec in the youth category (16 to 17 years old) 5km event followed by ASWD’s Nolene van Rensburg and CGA’s Ophelia Makgetha.
Written by Keagan Mitchell