Paarl – Two more records fell on Saturday, bringing a thrilling close to the TWIZZA ASA Age Category (u16-u20) Championships at Dal Josaphat Stadium in Paarl, bringing it to 5 new records overall.
In the morning session on the fourth and final day of competition, Janise Nell completely demolished the national mark in the U18 girls 10 000m walk, completing the race in 49:42:48 to slice nearly seven minutes off the previous South African best of 56:22.67 which was set by Liza Jacobs in Bellville in April 2002.
Nell then later competed in the U20 race in search of the qualifying time for this year’s U20 World Championships. She took second place behind Athletics Central North West teammate Marissa Swanepoel who won gold in 48:33.52, missing the national U20 record by less than three seconds.
Later in the day, Zonica Lindeque broke the SA U18 girls’ shot put record, producing a massive 18.18m heave to better the previous mark of 17.52m set by Lezaan Jordaan in Germiston in April 2012.
“I felt really good about today and I think my coaches (Pierre Blignaut and Eben Vermaas) were also expecting the record because I built a pretty good base during lockdown and we just felt I was going to peak at the right time,” Lindeque said. “So my coaches are very happy and I’m just glad I lived up to everyone’s expectations, including my own.”
Meanwhile, Mine de Klerk won the U20 women’s discus throw final (51.22m), bagging her second gold medal after setting a new national record (17.25m) to win the shot put earlier in the week.
Among other highlights, John Adesola charged to victory in the U20 men’s 110m hurdles final in 13.54 (just 0.05 outside the national record).
“I have won gold. I didn’t come here to play,” said Adesola. “On the first hurdle I could feel the Western Cape guy but held him (off) because I knew my fitness can take me through. Even though I don’t train over many hurdles, I knew I’d finish strong. So I knew that even on the last hurdle, even if he was close to me my speed will take me through. Plans for the future are the World U20 Champs.”
Nikolai van Huysteen took gold in the U20 men’s pole vault final after clearing the bar at 5.35m, while Jason Tito landed at 7.86m to win gold in the U20 men’s long jump event. Pieter-Juan Vorstman won the U20 men’s hammer throw final with a best effort of 69.04m and Marione Fourie earned gold in the U20 women’s 100m hurdles final in 13.47.
In the U18 age group, Brian Raats sailed over the bar at 2.15m to win the boys’ high jump final, while Armand Willemse landed his javelin at 73.08m to secure gold and Aletta Janse van Vuuren won the girls hammer throw title with a best attempt of 58.91m.
In the U16 division Temoso Masikane won gold in the boys’ long jump with a 6.99m leap, while Miguel Correia do Ribeiro took the boys’ shot put title with a 19.34m effort and Kaili Botje stormed over the line in 24.43 to win the girls’ 200m final. Leandri de Wet secured victory in the girls’ discus throw with a 46.07m heave.
In closing the national championships curtain, Athletics Gauteng North won the 4x400m relay races in the U20 women (3:48.64), U18 boys (3:18.64) and U18 girls (3:47.69) divisions. They were prevented from making a clean sweep by Central Gauteng Athletics’ winning the U20 men’s 4x400m relay in 3:10.12.
“The championships in the past 4 days went exceptionally well and with people in their best behaviour throughout including athletes, coaches and parents. We are happy that everyone abided by the Covid 19 rules, despite that this was our largest event since the Covid virus arrived in the country.
“The success of the championships is the breaking of records and we had a whopping 5 from this championship. We congratulate Zonica Lindeque, Mine de Klerk, Phethisang Makhethe, Christiaan Bester and Janise Nell. From these overall performances we look forward to best national selection of athletes for the World U20 Championships in Kenya in August this year,” said Aleck Skhosana, President of Athletics South Africa.
“We are truly grateful that the 2021 TWIZZA ASA Age Category (u16-u20) Championships was able to take place and that TWIZZA could be part of it, albeit under strict protocols as a result of the pandemic,” says Lance Coertzen, TWIZZA Group Marketing Manager. “The event delivered strong performances from start to finish and it was great to see SA’s junior track and field stars in action again doing what they love and making memories.
“We loved seeing their determination while their ability to adapt to the current situation (pandemic) deserves our praise. It’s a big congratulations to each and every athlete that participated and got to #TasteTheMoment with TWIZZA. We wish you the best for the year that lies ahead.”
Athletics Gauteng North finished top of the medals table with 112 medals (47 gold, 31 silver and 34 bronze), while Central Gauteng Athletics took the runner-up spot with 61 medals (18 gold, 23 silver and 20 bronze) and host province Boland Athletics ended third overall with 44 medals (12 gold, 14 silver and 18 bronze).
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About Athletics South Africa:
Athletics South Africa (ASA) is the national governing body for the sport of athletics (including Track and Field, Cross Country, Road Running and Race Walking) in South Africa, is a member of the IAAFand the Confederation of African Athletics. The association is based in Johannesburg.