Van Rooyen reaches shot put final | SASCOC - SASCOC

Van Rooyen reaches shot put final


By Mark Etheridge
in Nanjing, China

A personal best effort heaved Jason van Rooyen into the final of the shot put event at the Youth Olympic Games here in the second evening of track and field action on Thursday.

Van Rooyen, an African Youth Games gold medallist in Botswana two months ago, carded a 19.73m throw, which saw him fourth best qualifier behind Konrad Bukowiecki of Poland (22.34m). In Gaborone, the 17-year-old’s gold medal throw was 18.97.

The SA girls’ shot putter Yolandi Stander wasn’t as fortunate, as her 14.62m effort saw her ending 14th in qualifying as Russia’s Alena Bugakova topped the list with an 18.86m throw. Stander will now contest the B-Final.

The only track action involving South Africans saw Ronald Rakaku end sixth in his 100m heat with a time of 11.72sec.

Over at the impressive Olympic Sports Park, both the girls and boys’ sides were playing their fourth and final pool matches.

The girls took on the mighty Netherlands, and although they held out for much of the first chukker eventually went down 11-0. They conceded four, two and five goals in each of the three periods. There was certainly a big improvement in the girls’ play since their opening encounter, something acknowledged by captain Natalie Esteves.

‘I’m really proud of the girls tonight,’ said the Pietermaritzburg skipper.

‘That score wasn’t a reflection of the game. We are definitely getting better and I thought we really held them well in the first period. But, after all, they are a super-power of women’s hockey.’

The women still progress to the knock-out stages as only the last side in each pool drop out after the round robin stage.

The men then took on an equally powerful opponent in the shape of Spain, and went down 6-0. This SA side has talent and have also improved over the course of the Games in the unfamiliar five-a-side format. They went down 1-0 five minutes into the match and it could have been two had keeper Matt Martins not made a good stop from a one-on-one situation, effectively a penalty in this form of the game.

They then trailed 2-0 after the first chukker and nearly got back into contention in a goalmouth scramble at the start of the second period. Skipper Nqobile Ntuli was then yellow-carded and had to sit out play for two minutes. The Spaniards were ruthless, knocking in two quick goals to take it to 4-0 and ended the period 5-0 up after another yellow to Ryan Crowe.

Luke Schooling almost pulled one back  in the final period with a cracking shot from the far left, but it was well palmed away by the Spanish keeper.

Crowe was then about to take a one-on-one at goal but after consultation, the referees reversed the situation and the Spanish went on to knock one more goal past South Africa.

Said captain Ntuli afterwards: ‘It was a big, big challenge against Spain but we had prepared well off the pitch for this game. For us it wasn’t about the score but about our improvement, and I think we can definitely see the improvement.

‘Next up for us are the quarter-finals where we play New Zealand who we haven’t had a chance to look at yet,’ said the Grade 12 Kearsney College pupil.

Golf action saw African Youth Games champion Kyle McClatchie end the individual strokeplay with a third round of 72, 12th best on the day behind Germany’s Jonas Liebich.

McClatchie’s earlier rounds were 81 and 73, meaning he improved with each round, but his total of 226 saw him ending 21 shots off the gold medal score (Italy’s Renato Paratore) and 25th overall.

Out on the range, Team SA’s sole shottist Sybrand Laurens teamed up with Croatian sharpshooter Ivana Babic in the mixed international 10m air rifle event. They combined for a score of 811.5 which saw them move through as one of 16 qualifying teams.

There they took on the Mexican/Indonesian combination of Lia Torres Borgo and Niko Alvian who they took out 10-6. They are now in quarter-final action where they’ll meet Agata Alina Riccardi of San Marino and Serbia’s Andrija Milovanovic.

Evening pool action saw Jarred Crous end fourth in the first of two 50m breaststroke semi-finals. He clocked 28.79sec as Venezuela’s Carlos Claverie won in 28.19. That sees him as seventh fastest qualifier into the final.

This picture of Nqobile Ntuli and Tevin Kok in hockey action was taken by Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA. Pictures of Team South Africa’s campaign at the 2014 Youth Olympics are free for downloading on