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Katelyn soars to new heights at national championships

A personal best height for Katelyn Rothballer in the high jump was one of the highlights on the first day of the SA Sub-Youth, Youth, Junior and Under-23 track and field championships in Tshwane on Thursday.

Competing for Central Gauteng Athletics, Rothballer won the sub-youth girls high jump with a height of 1.77 metres. In doing so, the top ranked sub-youth athlete improved on her best performance of 1.74m achieved in East London as recently as last month. Mieke Pretorius (AGN) won the silver medal with 1.65m while Marne Kriedman (CGA) came third with the same height.

In the 10 000m for junior men, Michael Pienaar won the title for Boland as he finished ahead of three Central Gauteng athletes. It was clear from the start that this would be a technical race and the early pace was very slow, but it was Pienaar who broke away from the group to cross the finish line in 32min 01.17sec. Edwin Majwafe and Tshepo Leeto took silver and bronze, their times 32:50.12 and 33:13.03 respectively.

The Labushagne triplets competed for Gauteng North in the junior women’s 3000m steeplechase, but could not beat teammate Thandeka Manzana to the title.┬áManzana crossed the line in 11:12.20 while Olivia and Alicia Labushagne had to be satisfied with silver and bronze, their times 11:21.83 and 11:41.36 respectively.┬áThe third triplet, Sindy finished outside medal territory.

In the same event for junior men, the battle was between Adam Lipschitz (AGN) and Rantso Mokopane (ACNW). The two went head to head, but Lipschitz slowed down as Mokopane proved too strong for him with less than 50m to go. The winning time was 9:03.81 and Lipschitz crossed the line in 9:05.20. Bronze went to Tumisang Monnatlala from Central Gauteng in 9:16.97.

Athletes to look out for on day two include the World Junior Championships discus bronze medalist Gerhard de Beer, Julia du Plessis in the youth girls high jump as well as many finals.

The youth athletes will also use this event as an opportunity to qualify for the World Youth Championships in Ukraine in July.

Entry fees at the stadium will be R30 for adults while kids under the age of 15 get in for free.


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