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Gerhard de Beer shines

Gerhard de Beer

Gerhard de Beer

Gerhard de Beer, as well as the 4x100m men’s relay team broke South African records at the Commonwealth Youth Games over the weekend.  This prestigious event took place from 7 – 13 September at the Isle of Man, where some of the best youth athletes competed and showed their talent.

De Beer, the bronze medallist at the World Youth Championships in France smashed the South African discus record and took the gold medal with his distance of 67.44m, improving his personal best (60.63m set up in Lille, France) by almost 7 meters.  De Beer wasn’t the favourite going into the World Youth Championships but his abilities started showing there.  He once again showed his talent with his achievements over the weekend when he beat Nicholas Percy from Scotland as well as compatriot Jan-Louw Kotze in his quest to become the Commonwealth Youth Champion. Percy took silver with his 62.96m while Kotze’s 62.90m attempt was good enough for bronze.

A 25-year-old record was broken by the South African men’s 4x100m relay team consisting of Bradley Britz, Pieter Conradie, Constant Pretorius and Andries van der Merwe.  They showed excellent teamwork when they crossed the line in a record time of 41.00sec and also took the gold medal for their efforts. The previous record (41.55sec) was set in 1986 by Jannie Viljoen, Ockert Coetzee, Werner van Aswegen and Stanley Mogorosi.    England and Canada followed closely with 41.06sec and 41.44sec respectively

The 110m hurdles World Youth Champion, Andries van der Merwe, continued on a high note after France with not only a gold medal, but also a brand new personal best.  Van der Merwe sliced his time from the 13.39sec he ran in Namibia during the Southern Region Youth Championships and finished in 13.32sec, marginally faster than the 13.35sec of Marthinus van der Vyver (13.35sec) set up in 2001 in Hungary. This unfortunately could not be recognized as a new record due to a very strong backwind (3.1m/s).  Anthony Collins (AUS) and his compatriot Jack Edwards finished behind Van der Merwe in 13.59sec and 13.85sec respectively.

The South African record holder in the Javelin throw, Morne Moolman, easily outperformed his competitors with his 81.53m attempt and added the Commonwealth Youth Champion title to his collection.  Luke Cann (AUS) finished 2nd when he sent the javelin flying to 75.21m.  63.02m was good enough for the bronze for Adrian Williams from St Kitts & Nevis.

South Africa got another gold medal in the high jump as Willem van Schalkwyk did not have a lot of athletes to compete against.  He cleared 2.03m which was good enough for the win.  Tom Henry (AUS) and Michael Hartley (ENG) cleared 2m and 1.90m.

Albert Janki got a gold medal in the triple jump, his best attempt recorded at 14.85m.

In the men’s 400m hurdles Constant Pretorius came second in 53.05sec after Durgesh Kumar (IND) claimed victory in 51.76sec.  Tiaan Mouton finished 5th in 54.38sec.  Izelle Neuhoff finished 4th in the girls 400m hurdles in 63.80sec.

Ruan Combrinck also won a silver medal for his performance in the boy’s shot put.  His best effort reached 18.57m which was just not enough to beat Navjetdeep Singh (IND).  Singh claimed victory (18.81m) while Hezekiel Romeo from Trindad and Tobago finished finished 3rd.

The 2000m steeplechase saw Ketleho Dyoyi get the bronze medal in 5:56.9.  Zak Seddon from England and Ugandan athlete Zakaria Kiprotich took the top spots in 5:41.81 and 5:43.93 respectively.  Compatriot Jacob Tseko was not as lucky and finished 7th in 6:34.45.

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