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Youth target champs

Expect girl power to be at the fore when national senior hammer throw champion Annemie Smith and hurdles sensation Rikenette Steenkamp lead the medal hunt at the Yellow Pages SA Youth and Junior Track and Field Championships at the Germiston Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.

After the completion of the successful six-meeting Yellow Pages Series, this meeting is the last local opportunity for athletes to excel ahead of the European season and finally October’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.

Added incentive to come up with fast times, high and far jumps as well as supreme distance throws will be that SA’s top young talent will be out to post qualifying performances to make the SA team at the 13th IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Canada in July.

South-Western Districts athlete Smith, 18,┬á threw a season best distance of 57.13 metres ÔÇô a national girls under-19 age group record ÔÇô at the national schools championships on March 26 ÔÇô way beyond her previous season best of 55.31 set in Oudtshoorn earlier last month.

And Menlo Park High scholar Steenkamp will be looking for her third national title of the season in the 100 metres hurdles discipline having collected gold at the Yellow Pages SA Senior Track and Field Championships in Durban as well as the top position at the national schools championships. She has already qualified for world juniors with the entry standard set at 14.00 seconds.

Steenkamp goes to Germiston off the back of a win (13.75sec) at the final leg of the Yellow Pages Series at the same venue on Tuesday, but if perfect weather conditions prevail, few would bet against her coming close to her season best of 13.61 set at the Yellow Pages Series event held at the University of Johannesburg on March 24.

Free State’s Danelle Erwee is another athlete who could add to the “girl power” medal onslaught, having put in a national triple jump record effort of 12.57m in the under-17 competition at the national schools event and will be out in search of more success in the triple and long jump events this weekend.

At a time when SA track and field has bid a fond farewell to the recently retired shot put star Janus Robberts, the stage is set for the Vaal Triangle’s Ruan Combrink, who at the tender age of 15 years, is a talent to be monitored, especially after his national record mark of 20.51 in the under-15 age group competition at the national schools championships. This time he will be a part of the youth level competition.

Gauteng-based sprinter Rudolf Erasmus is another rising star who has the ability to rise to the occasion, following his national under-17 record in the 100 metres (10.50) at the high schools showpiece.

Over 1200 athletes are expected to descend on the Germiston Stadium in the hunt for medals.


3 comments
Abel
Abel

Mark,any news about April/May dates for youth athletes who still wants to qualify for southern regions?

Mark Etheridge
Mark Etheridge

Hi Abel.. unfortunately the youth champs are organised by a separate organisation so I'm hoping I can get results out of them this weekend. Regarding the other April/May competitions I'll try and find out more info on Monday Kind regards Mark Etheridge Managing Editor

Abel
Abel

It is very quite about the Youth Champs. What about youths that did not meet the qualification mark for Southern Regions.........suppose the qualifications are the same as 2009........will there be competitions in April/May to allow them to qualify for Southern Regions scheduled middle May