Eleven Qualify for World Junior Team at Yellow Pages Schools Junior and Youth Champs
Five of the newly crowned Champions competing in the Yellow Pages South African Youth, Junior and Schools National Track and Field Championships in Germiston, achieved the required qualifying standard to secure their place on the team for the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in July.
Since her short sojourn to Jamaica to take advice and train with that country’s national sprint squad, Justine Palframan’s improvement has seen her amongst the best in the country over both the 200m and 400m distances.
The 19 year old took 23.63 seconds to take the title ahead of Stephanie Wicksell (24.57) and Chante van Tonder (24.51).
On the first day of competition Palframan improved on her second place in the 2011 championships winning the one lapper in 53.51seconds. Once again it was Wicksell who had to settle as runner-up in 55.35 seconds only 0,1 seconds outside the IAAF qualifying mark.
Athletics South Africa have set considerably tighter standards with 53.67 for the 400m and 23.73 for the 200m sprint which left Wicksell only 0.01 seconds adrift in the 200m.
Palframan previously reached the qualifying time with a 53.59sec at the Kwazulu Natal Provincial Championships on 9 March.
On Saturday Siphello Ngqabaza completed the double taking the 200m final in 20.90 seconds making him the only other athlete to currently have qualified for two events.
The previous evening the on-form sprinter secured his plane ticket winning the 100m in a wind assisted (4.6m/s) 10.28 seconds, well clear of Ankani Simbini (10.43). However the Free State Schools athlete but originally reached the standard in the heats and again in the semi-final, finishing in 10.45sec (10.54).
World Youth Silver medalist, Morné Moolman, moved up an age group and secured his spot in the World Junior Team with his opening throw in the javelin. The SA Youth record holder’s first throw of 71.26 exceeded the required 70.5m.
Although the national title guarantees his inclusion in the team there is little doubt that his 75.08 metre mark at the second Yellow Pages series in Potchefstroom sets him aside as a great future potential.
A fifth round throw of 58.52 provided Gerhard de Beer with the championship title while Thapelo Madiba completed the quintet of athletes who are assured of team selection when he won the 800m in one minute 49.36 seconds slipping under the ASA qualification (1:49.44). Madiba had also met the requirement in the same stadium at the Interprovincials on 25 February.
A further six athletes beat the qualifying standard, but as also-ran finishers they will have to await the final selection date in May to see if they make the cut or whether others have achieved higher performances
Philippa van der Merwe became South Africa’s fastest 100m athlete of this season and added her name to the qualifying pool when she won her heat in 11.65 seconds. However it was Nabeel Parker who took the title in 11.78 to van der Merwe’s 11.89 performance.
Other athletes to have joined her on the list are Duwayne Boer (long Jump), Fana Mofokeng (100m) Pieter Conradie (400m), Ruan Greyling (400m) and Julia Du Plessis who set a new personal best on her third attempt at 1.88 metres in High Jump.
Although the 15 year old competes in the Youth category her performance exceeded the 1.84 junior selection criteria. The youth performance is third best ever behind Charmaine Weavers (nee Gale) and previous World Champion Hestrie Cloete (nee Storbeck).
The three-day event was the first time that both School and Athletics associations have been combined into the one championship. Altogether 26 provincial teams competed in the meet. The schools teams came from the nine political provinces, while the 17 Athletics South Africa Provinces also supplied teams. SASA, the schools association, selected from registered learners who compete in the official Schools league system, whereas the athletic provinces draw from club members who have met the qualifying standards, provided those athlete were not selected for a SASA provincial team.