Olympians Gift Leotlela and Clarence Munyai alongside world-class junior sprinters Thembo Monareng, Thando Dlodlo and Kyle Appel is set to change the face of junior sprinting when they line up for this weekend’s ASA Youth & Junior Championships in Cape Town. With Dlodlo, Appel and Monareng boasting with some of the fastest times ever run…
Olympians Gift Leotlela and Clarence Munyai alongside world-class junior sprinters Thembo Monareng, Thando Dlodlo and Kyle Appel is set to change the face of junior sprinting when they line up for this weekend’s ASA Youth & Junior Championships in Cape Town. With Dlodlo, Appel and Monareng boasting with some of the fastest times ever run by a South African junior athlete, Munyai and Leotlela’s 100m and 200m national records are set to go. The question is: who will take the honours?
Fresh from the Olympic Games and a IAAF World Junior Championships silver medal, Gift Leotlela’s confidence is as high as a kite. From beating the world 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk to setting a new South African junior 100m record of 10.12sec, Gift is finally unwrapping everything! Working under the watchful eye of Coach Hennie Kriel, Leotlela’s training partner Clarence Munyai is also not playing games. After finally breaking Riaan Dempers’ long-standing South African 200m record of 20.16sec at the AGN Championships in March, Munyai has been running world-class senior times left, right and centre. Just last weekend he cruised to a jaw-dropping 20.26sec victory at a Varsity Athleticscompetition in Pretoria; 20.26sec! Despite opting the 200m, Munyai also boasts with a very fast 10.20sec 100m personal best. A personal best that looks set to go anytime soon.
Garsfontein High School star-athlete ThemboMonareng, on the other hand, will also have something to say when he lines up this weekend. Boasting with 10.34sec and 20.85sec personal best times over the 100m and 200m, Monareng will be happy with nothing less than a medal for his efforts. But what does ThandoDlodlo have to say about that? Well, the Monument High Schooler’s 10.3sec and 20.63sec puts him in a more favoured position to outrun Monareng. Rankings, however, does not matter on the day, so we are in for treat when the abovementioned athletes line up to finally settle the business at Greenpoint Stadium this weekend! With rankings not in his favour, Western Province Athletics’ Kyle Appel heads into this weekend’s championships with a point to prove after failing to bag a medal last year. The fact remains: Appel is a major youth/junior championships medallist and when he gets an opportunity to prove himself, he will. Boasting with similar times and attitude, though, is the Region 5 Games 100m and 200m winner MaleselaSenona who, despite being able to run a comfortable 10.40sec 100m, will solely focus on the men’s 200m. After jogging a 20.85sec 200m in February, he is set to push Munyai until the finish line!
With both the South African 100m and 200m records on the cards and the top teenagers making their way to Cape Town, this weekend’s ASA Youth and Junior Championships could go down as the best South African junior championships in the history of the sport. Will they go faster than 10.12sec and 20.10sec? Well, you will find that out this weekend. See you there.