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SA athletes in finals action as World Junior Championship start in Poland
- Updated: July 20, 2016
Some of the nation’s most promising young prospects were at their best on Tuesday night, and though unable to challenge for medals, a trio of athletes carried the South African flag with pride in the evening session on day one of the IAAF World U20 Junior Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
In the men’s shot put final, Burger Lambrechts (pictured here) and Jason van Rooyen settled for eighth and 10th places respectively, after progressing through the qualifying round earlier in the day.
Lambrechts launched a 19.61-metre heave, 16 centimetres short of his personal best, and Van Rooyen’s 19.38m effort fell 12cm shy of his career best.
Polish teenager Konrad Bukowiecki earned the gold medal with a massive 23.34m attempt, setting a world junior record (not yet ratified).
Kabelo Melamu did well to finish 11th of 34 athletes in the men’s 10 000m final, crossing the line in a personal best 29min 36.29sec.
He was unable to keep up with the scorching pace set by a trio of East African runners who broke well clear of the rest of the field, with Kenyan Rodgers Kwemoi securing victory in a championship record of 27:25.23.
Melamu (also seen in actioni here) nonetheless shattered his career record of 30:53.20 set in Stellenbosch in April, climbing to fourth place in the all-time SA junior rankings over 25 laps.
In the women’s javelin, Jo-Ane van Dyk (in main picture) delivered the sixth furthest attempt in the qualifying round (54.06m) to secure her spot in the final, also scheduled to be held on Wednesday.’Happy to announce that I’ve made it through to the final. Throwing an automatic qualifier and a distance of 54.06m with my first throw! Definitely due to the power from above,’ George athlete Van Dyk said on social media.
Jeanelle Griesel, meanwhile, booked her place in the women’s 400m semi-finals, to be held on Wednesday evening.
Griesel, who formed part of the quartet that set a national senior record to win gold in the 4x400m relay at the African Championships in Durban last month, finished fourth in her heat in 54.47 to reach the penultimate round as the 16th fastest of 24 qualifiers.
Earlier, in the morning session on the opening day, sprinter Gift Leotlela coasted through the first round of the men’s 100m sprint, winning his heat in 10.32 to book his place in Wednesday’s semi-finals.
The following is the schedule of SA athletes competing in the morning session on Wednesday:
9.55am – 110m hurdles heats, men (Mpho Tladi, Thabo Maganyele)
10.50am – 400m hurdles heats, women (Gezelle Magerman)
11.40am – 400m heats, men (Derrick Mokaleng)
12.35pm – 100m heats, women (Tamzin Thomas, Cassidy Williamson)
All pictures courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA