Junniors

Some of the country’s top youth and junior athletes will hope to make their mark when they compete against the ‘big guns’ at Friday and Saturday’s ASA National Senior Championships in Stellenbosch. Most of the youngsters will compete to gain experience although a select few are in-it-to-win-it. The youth and junior combined events will also be in action during the two day championships.

Accolades:

A great number of major youth and junior championships medallists will contend with the senior athletes to prove that age is just a number. Renate van Tonder (Youth Commonwealth Games Long Jump gold medallist), Gezelle Magerman (former Youth Olympics 400mh champion), Burger Lambrecht (Youth Commonwealth Games Shot-Put medallist), Tamzin Thomas (African Junior 100m champion), Gift Leotlela (Youth Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 100m), Taylon Bieldt (Youth Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 100mh) and Clarence Munyai (fastest 200m: 20.36sec) are just a few youngsters that will fly the juniors’ flag high this weekend.

Possibilities:

Clarence Munyai is the fastest man in the 200m this year, so if he remains focused, he might be crowned the South African 200m senior national champion and to top it all, qualify for the Rio Olympic Games once more. Taylon Bieldt, on the hand, could also be crowned national champion in the women’s 100mh race if all goes well on the day. The strong athlete is in a class of her own and she is most definitely a favourite to look out for. Tamzin Thomas (100m Women), Gift Leotlela (100m Men), Gezelle Magerman (400mh Women), Burger Lambrecht (Shot-Put Men), Liza Kellerman (800m Women), Simonay Weitsz (800m Women) and Geraldine King (High Jump Women) are all possible medal contenders for their respective events! If these stars excel as expected, the youth and junior medal tally at these championships could be a remarkable ten!

What does this mean for youth and junior athletes?

The opportunity to compete against the best in the country is a big opportunity for the young athletes as it encourages, motivates and inspires to work hard and perfect their crafts. The occasion also provides another chance for them to qualify for their various international youth and junior championships and athletes who will take advantage of that are: Kyle Appel (100 & 200), Theuns Ehlers (800m), George Kusche (800m), Breyton Poole (High Jump Men), Cayla Seddon (100mh), Warno Potgieter (1500m), Leandri Geel (Discus-Throw), Ikageng Gaorekwe (5000m), Derrick Mokaleng and Tebogo Selebi (400m), Cassidy Williamson (200m) etc.

 The sub-youth, youth & junior pentathlon and decathlon is also in action throughout the weekend, so we urge everyone to encourage these athletes to push to their limits!

 Well, the youngsters are ready to talk business on the track, I hope the seniors are ready for them?

Written by Reggie Hufkie