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Future stars shine

Three records at the recent Yellow Pages national youth and under-21 track and field championships in Pretoria recently show that South Africa HAS future Olympians waiting in the wings.
The event not only saw three records but also seven 400m athletes achieving qualifying standards for the IAAF world youth championships in Bressanone, Italy in July.

The star of the show was South Western Districts hammer-thrower Annemie Smith.
She turned 17 in the week leading up to the championships and her huge heave of 54.21 metres broke both the junior and youth records to give her a belated birthday present.
Regularly cracking the 50m mark this year, her winning throw also moved her up to sixth spot on the SA all-time list.
The other SA junior record fell to promising decathlete, Willem le Roux of Boland when he won the junior title with a points total of 6623 points to better the existing record by 268 points.
Tipped as one of the future stars of South African middle-distance running, Gauteng North’s Caster Semenya (AGN) tasted success twice, winning the 800m in an fast time of 2:02.04 at altitude, and the 1500m in 4:25.75.
The two finals of the 400m for Youth athletes both produced outstanding performances with seven athletes reaching the World Youth qualifying standards.

In the girls race Anri Steyn (CGA) underlined her talent when she clocked 53.29 secs – the third fastest time in the country this year – to walk away with the title. She was followed by Justine Palframan (KZN, 53, 72 secs) and Sonja van der Merwe (WPA, 54.90 secs).
In the boys race Jacques de Swardt (AGN) triumphed in a time of 46,82 secs followed by MC Kruger ( AVT, 48.07 secs), Petrus Coetzee ( ACNW, 48.19sec) and Daniel Harrison ( CGA, 48.33) ÔÇô all inside the qualifying standards.


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