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Strong team for Namibia

Athletics South Africa have picked a group of 40 athletes (25 men and 15 women) to represent the country at the Southern Region Youth Championships in Windhoek from 27-29 May.

South Africa has over the years dominated this championship and Athletics South Africa feel they selected the right team to continue this domination. What is important though is that the next generation of athletes is given the opportunity to experience international athletics before being dropped in the proverbial deep end ÔÇô a World Championship.

The World Youth Championships will be taking place in Lille, France in July this year, and the team selected for the Southern Region Youth Championships, will form the bulk of the team selected to the World Championships.

ÔÇ£The Southern Region Youth Championships are important to us,ÔÇØ says ASA Acting Chairperson, James Evan. ÔÇ£It gives us an opportunity to take a fairly large squad of new athletes to an international competition without incurring too many costs. It provides the youngsters with an opportunity to taste what it feels like to compete against athletes they are not familiar with and teaches them the rigours of travel; and we are building the sport ÔÇô in particular in the Southern Region.ÔÇØ

South Africa in the past has mainly brought back medals in the sprints and the technical events, and 2011 should prove no different.

Should Team SA opt to enter the relays, then they have a core group of athletes who will make up formidable combinations. Seargal Pieterson, Bradley Britz, Hendrik Khumalo and Fana Mofokeng in the 4x100m are a potent combination. Pieterson was crowned SA 100m champion ahead of Britz. The pair are currently ranked third (Britz) and fourth (Pieterson) respectively on the IAAF World Youth lists.

Hendrik Khumalo won the bronze medal in the 100m and the Gold in the 200m, with Mofokeng picking up silver in the 200m at the recent youth championship in Germiston. The quartet should not only be odds on favourites to pick up a medal in the relay, but also in their individual races.

Similarly in the 4x400m relay, South Africa should have too much firepower. Pieter Conradie and Lorenzo Adams won gold and silver in the flat 400m at the SA Championships respectively, whilst Constant Pretorius and Tiaan Mouton had the top two places in the 400m hurdles.

South Africa has a history and pedigree in the 400m hurdles and Pretorius and Mouton are well set to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Llewellyn Herbert, Alwyn Myburgh and LJ Van Zyl. Mouton and Pretorius are currently lying first and third on the world ranking lists and will be huge favourites for individual gold and silver, but will also be a vital asset to the 4x400m relay team should South Africa go that route.

Conradie’s 46.83sec win in Germiston put him on top of the world ranking list, with compatriot Adams holding eighth spot. The two South Africans are the only African athletes that currently feature in the world top ten and should, if everything goes according to the formbooks, be the favourites for gold and silver.

Never before in the history of a South Africa Youth Championships have three athletes gone over 15m in the triple jump. Until 2011 that is. Albert Janki, Sabelo Ndlovu and Duwanyne Boer hit 15.50m, 15.47m and 15.26m respectively. Unfortunately only two athletes can be selected for the Southern Region Championships and so Boer has to stay at home. However with Janki and Ndlovu in second and third on the IAAF ranking lists, the two should be counted as the men to beat in the Triple Jump.

The boys’ javelin should be another battle between South Africa’s Reinhardt Van Zyl and Morne Moolman. Van Zyl got the better of Moolman at the South African Championships (71.75m-70.27m), but Moolman’s 73.51m thrown in Paarl on 24 March puts him third on the world rankings. Van Zyl is sitting at fifth.

Philipa van der Merwe’s 11.82sec clocking at the SA Youth Championships was good enough for gold and is also good enough to see her ranked number one in Africa for 2011. Stephanie Wicksell is currently eighth in the World and is also the fastest girl in Africa at this point. The two go into the Southern Region Championships as the favourites for a medal, if not gold.

Izelle Neuhoff came desperately close to dipping under 59sec at the SA Championships. Her 59.03 is the third fastest on the South African All time list and is currently the second fastest in the World behind Jamaica’s Olivia James (59.01sec). Here again South Africa has the leading medal contender for the Southern Region Youth Championships.

Team to the Southern Region Youth  Championships in Windhoek (27-28 May)
1
Bradley Britz
WPA
100m

2
Sergeal Petersen
EPA
100m

3
Andries van der Merwe
AGN
110m Hurdles

4
Tiaan Smit
WPA
110m Hurdles

5
Jacob Tseko
AGN
2000m SC

6
Katleo Dyoyi
AVT
2000m SC

7
Khumalo Hendrick
CGA
200m

8
Fana Mofokeng
AFS
200m

9
Pieter Conradie
AGN
400m

10
Lorenzo Adams
BOL
400m

11
Constant Pretorius
AGN
400m Hurdles

12
Tiaan Mouton
WPA
400m Hurdles

13
Lerato Mosunyane
AFS
800m

14
Siphiwe Tefo
CGA
800m

15
Jan-Louw Kotze
BOL
Discus

16
Gerhard de Beer
AGN
Discus

17
Lionel Drury
EPA
Hammer

18
Willem van Schalkwyk
BOL
High Jump

19
Brandon Prinsloo
AFS
High Jump

20
Reinhardt van Zyl
AGN
Javelin

21
Morne Moolman
WPA
Javelin

22
Duwayne Boer
AGN
Long Jump

23
Ruan Combrinck
AVT
Shot Put

24
Albert Janki
AGN
Triple Jump

25
Sabelo Ndlovu
AGN
Triple Jump

1
Phillipa Van der Merwe
NWC
100m
200m
2
Liezl Hechter
CNW
100m

3
Stacey Welsch
WPA
200m

4
Lezaan Jordaan
CGA
Shot Put
Discus
5
Cecile Meyer
EPA
Shot Put

6
Thato Makhafola
CGA
800m

7
Stephanie Wicksell
AGN
400m

8
Mareike Wolhuter
WPA
400m

9
Izelle Neuhoff
AVT
400m H

10
Shani Bodenstein
AGN
100m H

11
Maryke Brits
Bol
100m H
Long Jump
12
Janet Seeliger
AGN
Long Jump

13
Marina Swanepoel
Bol
400m H

14
Olivia Labuschagne
AGN
2000m SC

15
Alicia Labuschagne
AGN
2000m SC


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