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Senekal stars for SA
- Updated: May 13, 2011
One day into the Africa Junior Athletics Championships in Gaborone, Botswana, and South Africa has already bagged five medals.
Team South Africa won a gold medal, three silvers and a bronze.
The gold and bronze were both provided by our girls discus throwers. Ischke Senekal produced a personal best by just under two metres as she sent the discus flying to 49.90 metres, bettering her previous best of 47.91m. The Eastern Province athlete turned the tables on her compatriot Simone Meyer who had to settle for bronze.
Meyer had gone over 50m at the Yellow Pages SA Junior Championships for the gold medal (Senekal won silver), but she was some distance off that mark, managing just 45.41m this time out.
Pole vaulters Jeanne Van Dyk and Mariska Smit shared the silver medal in the junior women’s category, both clearing 3.35m. The gold went to Tunisia’s Mahfoundhi Dorra with her vault of 3.40m.
Roelf Pienaar is rapidly making a name for himself in the long jump and he won South Africa’s third silver and fifth medal of the day. Pienaar’s 7.55m was 14cm behind Kabbachi el Mehd of Morocco.┬áMpho Maputa, the reigning SA junior champion, was wary of a recurring buttock injury and did not finish the long jump competition, opting instead to focus on the triple jump competition in Friday’s finals.
After five events on day one of the decathlon competition, Jason Roux is lying third. Roux’s returns on the day were: 100m (third), long jump (third), high jump (third),┬á and second in both the 400m and long jump to finish the day on 3290 points.
In Friday’s action, Roux will be finishing the final five events of the decathlon, but South Africa will be looking to Gideon Trotter and Emile Erasmus to pick up more medals in the 100m final. Lariska Botha looks a certain for a medal as is Valentina da Roche in the triple jump.
Samantha Pretorius and Chante van Tonder could very well go 1-2 in the women’s 100m. After her storming win at the Yellow Pages SA Junior Championships, Anri Steyn is widely expected to medal in the 400m and if Justine Palframan does not pick up a recurring hamstring problem, she too should be in the medals.
South Africa has a strong tradition in the 400m hurdles and barring a fall, Shaun van Wyk should merely make sure he steps onto the track to grab another gold for South Africa. In the flat 400m, Jannie Briers Louw’s best of 47.60sec should be more than enough for a medal. The medal hunt could well continue in the men’s high jump with Stiaan Minnie and Donovan Stebbing and Johnny Botha competing in the shot put.