Gerhard's Spanish bronze | SASCOC - SASCOC

Gerhard’s Spanish bronze

By Mark Etheridge

Gerhard de Beer got Team South Africa’s medal chase up and running at the IAAF World Junior track and field championships in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday.

De Beer took bronze in the discus final, launching the 1.750 kilogram projectile to a distance of 61.57 metres. That was just 18cm shy of silver, which went to Poland’s Wojciech Praczyk, while Jamaican Fedrick Dacres, an unlikely looking discus athlete, took gold in a personal best of 62.80m.

De Beer, who turned 18 a week ago on Thursday, has a personal best of 61.64 that he threw in Windhoek earlier this year. At the World Youth Championships in Lille, France last year, he also won bronze.

National 400m women’s champion Justine Palframan set South African up for another possible shot at a medal when she ended third in her semi-final.

She clocked 52.65sec in┬á Heat Two of the semi-finals. The race was won by American Ericka Rucker (52.06) from Guyana’s Kadecia Baird (52.40).

Palframan, who won all three sprint titles at the Zone VI Games in Swaziland in 2010, was fourth fastest qualifier for the final and came through strongly at the end before easing off once the qualifying job was done.

The 18-year-old’s personal best time for the one-lapper is the 52.33 she set at nationals in Port Elizabeth earlier this year. Her final will be run at the same time on Friday evening. Can she she join De Beer as a medallist?….