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Gold for Van der Merwe

South African’s Andries van der Merwe is the World Youth 110-metre hurdles champion.

Competing at the Championships in Lille, France on Friday he crossed the line in an excellent 13.41sec. He had the best start of the field, as well as his best start of the Championships, and although challenged towards the end of the race, he was always in control.

Van Der Merwe now holds three of the top four times set this year. Joshua Hawkins (NZL) got the silver medal in 13.44sec while Wilhem Belocian got the bronze (13.51sec). Although conditions were difficult throughout the day, Van der Merwe did not allow this to distract him as he controlled the race from start to finish.

Hendrick Khumalo qualified for the semi-final of the boys 200m after he outran the field and finished first in time of 21.58sec. His closest competitor in his heat, Joshua Hawkins (NZL), crossed the line in 21.75 sec and qualified for the next round with him. Fana Mofokeng finished third (21.78sec)in the second heat, but ended up qualifying for the semi-final with a fastest time.

The semi-final will take place on Saturday. Canada’s Andre Azonwanna set the fastest time in the heats when he won the third heat in a time of 21.58sec.

Sabelo Ndlovu and Albert Janki both qualified for the final of the boy’s triple jump.┬á Ndlovu finished behind Latario Collie-Minns (BAH) who jumped 15.61m.┬á Ndlovu automatically qualified for the final after his 2nd attempt jump reached 15.51m, a new PB.┬á A distance of 15.25m is needed to do this.┬á The Russian athlete Maksim Lustin finished 3rd and qualified with 15.31m.┬á In the other group, Janki ended in the top 12 qualifying for the final with a jump 15.09m. The final of the triple jump will also take place Saturday.

In the discus throw for girls, Somari Els failed to qualify for the final with her best attempt reaching 42.96m. The winner of her group, Shelbi Vaughan (USA), threw 53.78m to automatically qualify for the final.  Bin Feng from China and Keshia McGrath-Volau from Australia did exactly the same with 50.78m and 50.49m.  Athletes who reached 48.50m automatically qualified without having to attempt any more throws.

Philippa van der Merwe failed to qualify for the next round in the 200m heats. It seemed like she was going to finish in third place, but was caught and passed in the final five metros by Brazilian runner Beatriz de Souza (25.02sec). Van der Merwe crossed the line in 25.14sec.  The first two qualifying places were taken by Ekaterina Renzhina (RUS) and Khamica Bingham (CAN), their times 24.19sec and 24.21sec respectively.

Only the first two places in the girls 800m semi final automatically qualified for the final.  Thato Makhafola finished sixth, crossing the line in 2:12.02. The first two places went to Katie Snowden (GBR) in 2:05.67and Amy Weissenbach in 2:05.84.


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