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Gauteng North excel at Youth Champs


South Africa - Youth Javelin

South Africa - Youth Javelin

Team South Africa brought home 5 medals from the IAAF World Youth Championships that took place in Lille, France from 6-10 July.  Surprisingly, it is the boys from Gauteng North that performed well as 4 of the 5 medal winners came from this province.
On the very first day of the Championships, the tables got turned in the boys discus throw as Gerhard de Beer became the first South African athlete to win a medal. He outperformed teammate and SA Champion from Boland, Jan-Louw Kotze, who finished just outside medal territory. De Beer’s 5th round attempt measured 60.63m, bagging him the bronze medal.  His previous PB was recorded at 59.74m at the CAA Southern Region Youth Championships in Namibia.  There was no stopping Jamaican athlete Fedrick Dacares as he produced a massive 67.05m for the gold medal.  Ethan Cochran from the USA finished 2nd with 61.37m.

The gold medal clearly had Andries van der Merwe’s name written on it as he lived up to his number 1 world ranking in the 110m hurdles.  He won the race in 13.41sec, just shy of the 13.39sec he ran in Namibia at the CAA Southern Region Youth Championships.    Van der Merwe was challenged towards the end of the race, but never lost control.  Joshua Hawkins tried his best but could not gain the 3/100th of a second needed for the gold. He had to settle for the silver (13.44sec) while van der Merwe claimed the title of World Youth Champion.  Van Der Merwe now holds three of the top 4 times set this year.

After an upset in the boy’s javelin throw, Reinhard van Zyl is the proud owner of a gold medal, the title of World Youth Champion and a new lifetime best performance.  The SA Champion had to step back for Morne Moolman since the CAA Southern Region Youth Chmapionships in Namibia at the end of May.  Moolman’s performances skyrocketed since the SA Yellow Pages Youth and Junior Championships, now allowing van Zyl to beat him, but it all changed in the final round of the javelin throw.

Van Zyl improved his PB (71.75m set at the SA Championships in Germiston) by a massive 11.21m after the javelin soared to the 82.96m mark at his 2nd attempt.  This caused him to lead from early on and nobody, not even Moolman, could catch up after that effort.  Moolman finished with the silver medal (80.99m).

SA Triple Jump Champion Albert Janki impressed in the final at the World Youth Championships in France.  With only one attempt left, Janki was outside medal territory placing 5th.  Janki knew he had to do something big and jumped a PB at his final attempt (15.95m) for the silver medal. This jump was just 8cm away from the SA Record set by Khotso Mokoena in 2002 in Pretoria.  Janki’s previous best was 15.50m at the SA Championships in Germiston.

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