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Athletics | SA Track & Field

Johannes Schlebusch © Gallo Images

SA increase medal tally at U18 champs



It was a rollercoaster day for the South African youth team on Thursday, though they experienced more highs than lows, earning two more medals to increase their tally to four on the second day of the IAAF World U-18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the Boys Javelin Throw final, Johannes Schlebusch produced the performance of his fledgling career, bagging the silver medal with a career best heave of 75.68m.

Fellow South African athlete Joshua Maas struggled to mount a challenge, however and after delivering a first-round throw of 59.55m, he was unable to make the midway cut.

Earlier, in the Boys Shot Put final, Jonathan de Lacey Lacey was also in the shape of his life, securing a bronze medal with a 19.93m Personal Best, just seven centimetres short of second place.

"I'm surprised and excited to win a bronze medal. I didn't expect to do well here because I didn't have a good preparation prior to the final," said De Lacey Lacey, who will turn out again in the Discus Throw qualifying round on Friday. "I expect another medal in the Discus Throw, though, because I will put in the same effort."

There was disappointment for versatile athlete Julian Bogner in the Boys Long Jump final. He was in third ahead of the last round with a 7.40m leap, but Andreas Bucsa of Romania snatched the bronze medal with a 7.47m final jump and the South African had to settle for fourth position.

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Sprinter Rose Xeyi did well to reach the Girls 100m final, finishing seventh in 12.01. While compatriot Joviale Mbisha had set a Personal Best of 11.99 in the semifinals, she finished fifth in her race and was unable to progress to the medal contest.

Meanwhile, in preliminary rounds, Sokwakhana Zazini coasted to a convincing victory in his 400m Hurdles heat, booking his place as the firm favourite for Saturday's final.

Zazini, who set a world youth best of 48.84 in Pretoria in March, clocked 49.63. He was more than two seconds faster than the next fastest qualifier in the opening round.

Earlier in the morning session, Zeney van der Walt won her 400m Hurdles heat in 59.60 to book her place in the final, to be held on Saturday.

Though Gontse Morake got off to a great start in her heat, she faded down the home straight and finished fourth in 1:00.59 and could not proceed.

In the opening round of the Girls Hammer Throw, Tharina van der Walt launched a 63.10m to qualify for the final, also taking place on Saturday.

Bogner kept his medal hopes alive, ending third in his 110m Hurdles heat in 14.12 to progress safely though to Friday's semifinals.

Though Roelof van der Walt was quicker in his heat, crossing the line in 13.97, he finished fourth and was eliminated ahead of the penultimate round.

After two days of competition, the SA team are in second overall on the table with four medals (one gold, two silver and one bronze).



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