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SA athletes increase medal tally to 10 in Algeria

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s next generation of track and field stars had another impressive day at the CAA African Junior Championships in Tiemcen, Algeria, on Friday..

They repeated their five-medal haul from Thursday’s opening day and now boast 10 in total, after two days of competition.

Sprinter Thembo Monareng led the way with gold in the 100 metres as he won in 10.41sec for a 0.09sec victory margin over Zimbabwe’s Tinotenda Matiyenga.

A gold medallist for Team South Africa at the AUSC Region 5 Games in Luanda, Angola last year, Blignaut heaved the sphere 20.08m to add another gold to his collection.

Compatriot Patrick Duvenhage’s 18.31m best on the day secured the silver medal.

‘Conditions are good here,’ said Blignaut. ‘We’re staying in a nice hotel and the food is good, but I just felt the long flights and bus trips took a lot out of me.

‘But of course that’s all part and parcel of athletics, and I must just get used to it. I still believe that I’ll be able to break that SA record of 20.50, but for now I’m happy with the win and the distance today.

And in women’s competition, 2014 African Youth Games champion and Youth Olympian Taylon Bieldt won the 100m hurdles. The Pretoria athlete clocked 13.82sec for the win ahead of Algeria’s Asthma Araibia in 13.98sec.

The team’s fifth medal on day two came from Yvonne Robson in the high jump, her 1.74m a safe six centimetres higher than Morocco’s Fatima Elalaoui.

On day one Duvenage had got a gold medal of his own in the discus with a 59.46m effort, ahead of Werner Visser (58.70). Visser won gold for South Africa at the last World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia.

With SA field athletes traditionally very strong against continental opposition, the SA women also came to the party in the shot put, with Jana Steinmann (13.15m) and Yolanda Stander (12.72) getting gold and silver.

There was also a bronze medal for Aaron Pedro (7.10m) in the long jump on day one of the competition.


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