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- Olympic champion’s Epic win, big-hearted women’s triumph
Jason just misses podium
- Updated: August 24, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
in Nanjing, China
A personal best by athlete Jason van Rooyen saw him just missing out on a medal in the shot put event at the Youth Olympic Games on Sunday.
Van Rooyen had also thrown a personal best 19.73m in qualifying action and bettered that by another nine centimetres in the final.
He opened with an 18.92, improved that to 19.27 with this next effort and then, after a no-throw in his penultimate effort, unleashed a 19.82m best.
Out front, no-one was able to come near giant Pole Konrad Bukowiecki who threw a personal best 23.17 to take gold. The silver and bronze efforts were 21.00 and 20.13 respectively.
‘I’m happy with the personal best but not the fourth spot,’ reflected Van Rooyen afterwards. ‘The shot was coming out nicely but I have to say I was praying for rain. It rained most of the day but then stopped and only came back for my last throw … and we can see what happened. I always throw well in the rain because I’m a “glider” and the wet conditions suit my throwing style.
‘Konrad was unbeatable today though, he’s been throwing 25m in training, another league.’
The Germiston resident, who goes to school at Helpmekaar College in Parktown, will now knuckle down to school and training. ‘My next target is the SA age-group record of around 20.40m and then I also want to work hard on my “spinning” technique.’
Also in the shot put earlier, Yolandi Stander threw her way to fourth spot in the women’s B final. She launched the orb 14.45m in the second of her four attempts as Ukraine’s Yulia Bairak won with a personal best 15.41.
The SA women’s hockey side ended their run with an agonising 4-3 defeat to New Zealand in the 5th-8th place play-off. Natalie Esteves’ side trailed 4-0 after 25 minutes but showed true SA ‘gees’ to pull back three goals before the final hooter. Two of them came from Esteves and one from Chrissie Haupt.
Also coming to an end was the equestrian competition and Alexa Stais will leave with a smile on her face – and will also leave the host nation supporters with a smile on their face after proving a hugely popular competitor.
Riding Dominand, who started off the competition as something of a shy and slow plodder but came into his own as the event played out, she recorded a second round of eight faults which saw her ending 12th on the day. On Saturday she had 16 faults behind her name.
‘Dom was awesome today,’ beamed Stais. ‘I managed to lower my score to eight penalties and today was the best he has been this whole show. I was really worried about the line that caused a lot of problems but he surprised me and skipped right through it.
‘I had an unlucky rail down after that, then the last one down. I’m so happy that I got to be a part of this whole amazing experience.’
Out at Laoshan Park, the cycling wrapped up and Team South Africa ended 28th in the mixed team relay.
The squad of Lebo Pebane, Alex Limberg, Ivan Venter and Maia Rawlins clocked 20min 58sec, behind Czech Republic (17:31). Italy and Ukraine were second and third. Limberg now returns home to Johannesburg on Wednesday and goes directly into writing preliminary Grade 12 exams at school.
Golfing action at the Zhongshan International saw a good showing from the South African duo in in the first round of mixed team action which saw 30 nations competing.
The team of Kyle McClatchie and Kaleigh Telfer carded a seven-under 65 to lie four shots off the lead (held by Korea) in joint sixth place with Scandinavian nations Sweden and Denmark.
The competition continues tomorrow.
Sailing ended at Jinniu Lake with Megan Robertson having an encouraging final race where she ended 22nd of 30 boats in the One-Person Dinghy class. On this occasion it was fellow SA sailor Calvin Gibbs who brought up the rear in his final race.
Picture of Van Rooyen by Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA. Pictures of Team South Africa’s campaign at the 2014 Youth Olympics are free for downloading on www.sascocimages.co.za.