Team SA Dominate CAA SR Youth & Junior Championships
Sokwakhana Zazini and Jayson Weber celebrate victory at the CAA SR Youth and Junior Championships. Photo by Backtrack Sports
Team South Africa dominated the Southern Region Youth and Junior Athletics Championships, in Boksburg, that took place from Friday April 27 to Saturday April 28. The host nation who came into the competition as favourites lived up to their expectations after they topped the medal standings with 141 medals that included 75 gold, 57 silver and nine bronze.
They were followed by Zimbabwe and Botswana who finished second and third on the medal table with a total of 19 and 18 medals respectively.
Lesotho, Mauritius, Seychelles, SA individuals, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Angola completed the line-up.
Team SA was led by Gontse Morake who jumped a new national triple jump youth record of 13.10m to take the gold medal. The youngster continued her dominance in the girls’ under-18 one-lap hurdles event clocking 59.77 seconds to win her second gold individual medal. This comes after she was in a class of her own in the same events, at the ASA youth and junior championships, in Paarl, earlier this month.
The SA youth contingent did not disappoint with Kayla Smit throwing a personal best(PB) of 58.30 metres to take the gold medal in the hammer throw event. Luke Davids ran a PB of 20.81 seconds to take the 200m youth title and finished second to teammate Mikaal-il Mohamed in the 100m sprint event. Western Province Athletics Jayson Weber continued his consistent performances in the one-lap sprint to take the gold medal in a time of event to stop the clock at 46.78 seconds. This was the second time in a space of two weeks that the youngster ran sub 47 seconds following his gold medal performance clocking 46.71 seconds at the ASA youth and junior championships.
Meanwhile the SA junior/under-20 record holder in the 100m sprints Thando Dlodlo impressed in the 200m sprint event to stop the clock at 20.80 seconds and finished second in the 100m behind teammate Retshidisitswe Mlenga who clocked 10.26 to take the gold medal. Mlenga has been in fine form in the 100m event this season making the finals at SA seniors and clocking 10.22 seconds at SA juniors to take the gold medal.
Silisapho Dingiswayo produced a staller performance in the boys’ under-20 110m hurdles clocking 13.56 seconds to take the gold medal, followed by Azile Madini who took the silver medal in a time of 13.97 seconds. Two weeks back it was the same two athletes who finished in the same positions at the SA youth and junior championships. However, it was Madini who got the better of Dingiswayo at the SA schools’ championships last month after they finished in second and third place clocking 14.05 and 14.36 seconds.
Sokwakhana Zazini was pushed all the way by teammate Gabriel Louw in the 400m sprint event but came out tops to stop the clock at 46.07 seconds. He also ran sub 50 seconds in the one-lap hurdles event clocking 49.99 seconds to pick up his second individual gold medal.
In the boys’ under-18 and 20 javelin events SA put up a dominant performance with both Jano Esterhuizen and Anro van Eeden throwing over 70 meters to take the gold. Esterhuizen won the boys’ under-18 event with a distance of 75.37m while Van Eeden took the boys’ under-20 title with a distance of 74.07m.
Kayle Blignaut could have not asked for a better outing following his gold medal performance in the boys’ under-20 shotput event with a distance of 21.65 which was also a new SA junior record.
Team manager Juan Strydom said his proud of the 133 athletes than represented South Africa at the Southern Region youth and junior championships.
“All of the athletes performed well and gave it their best. They should stay focused and prepare well should they get selected for the world junior championships and youth Olympics,” he said.
Written by Keagan Mitchell