It would have been good for the two stars to accompany the team to the World Juniors to inspire them. We know they will make us proud and be future role-models as well. You are in control of what you do - you cannot control what others do so stay focussed. All the best to the team.
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Wise words for juniors
- Updated: July 13, 2010
Our 22-strong team for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada leave South African shores on Wednesday with the encouraging words of two of the country’s athletics greats ringing in their ears.
All-Africa pole vault record-holder Okkert Brits has warned the 22-strong SA track and field team that the trip to the IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, will be far from a holiday, but the rewards will be worth the effort. The action will take place at the newly-built 10┬á000-seater Stade Moncton 2010 stadium from July 19-25.
Brits, with a career best effort of 6.03 metres to his name, collected a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships held in Seoul, South Korea, and is well positioned when it comes to passing on advice to the class of 2010.
ÔÇ£Stay calm at all times and believe in yourself more than ever before,ÔÇØ said Brits. “Don’t get angry and save your energy for the day of your competition. Don’t waste your time on stress as all your competitors are also stressed. On warm-up day, don’t overdo things because you will use up too much energy. Enjoy every moment. I have been No1 in the world but I also failed on occasions. It’s all part of being the best that you can be.ÔÇØ
Hezekiel Sepeng, the Olympic 800m silver medallist of 1996, added: ÔÇ£On the way to the track, there are things that you must avoid because you have already made a decision about how you are going to compete. Focus, enjoy and use your strong points to get to the next round or medals.ÔÇØ
As the SA team prepares for a gruelling 26 hours of air time that will see them leave Durban, and fly via Dubai, London and Toronto before reaching Moncton, the mood among the athletes is good following the African record effort of 8.19m set by Boland-based long jump sensation Luvo Manyonga in Germany at the weekend.
Manyonga and Tazmin Britz (javelin) occupy top spot on the world junior rankings, while Waide Jooste (100m), Gideon Trotter (100m), Shaun de Jager (400m), Ratlale Mokone (800m), Rocco van Rooyen (javelin), Dean Goosen (javelin) and Gert Swanepoel (decathlon), rank among the top 10 in their respective disciplines.
You have earned the right to be there, you have worked hard - many hours of endless drills, exercises, weight room, practises and competions. Just be yourself, take in the moment of this big occasion, stay focussed, dont be sidetracked or overwelmed. Concentrate on your efforts and your jump/run/throw - dont waste your energy worrying about your competitors. Make us proud and bring back the Medals!!