By Mark Etheridge
A personal best in the javelin for Anneke Germishuys was the highlight of the South African performance on day two of the IAAF World Youth Championsihip in Cali, Colombia on Thursday.
The Western Cape athlete, pictured above, threw a 53.10-metre best with her second attempt which was good for sixth spot as Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi was crowned champion with a 60.35m best on the night.
She opened with a 50.04 before the PB but was unable to better 50m with her other two attempts.
Before this week the 16-year-old’s previous best had been a 51.47 so the Tygerberg Northlink AC athlete will be well pleased with her form.
The Daniel Damon coached athlete is currently the Western Province, Western Cape, SA High School, SA Youth and African Youth Champion. She’s also the top ranked javelin exponent in the Commonwealth Youth nations.
‘She kept her cool nicely,’ said Damon. ‘Conditions were windy conditions and there was lots of flat landings.’
Germishuys approached Damon almost two years ago this week to let him know that she wanted to make the team to Cali. ‘Her PB then was only 43.08 and she’s never looked back. A year later at SA youth and Juniors she only managed a 41.57 or so… she just said “now we have to work twice as hard but we’re still going to Cali”.
‘She’s very dedicated and has a big future in athletics,’ says Damon.
Germishuys was the only South African athlete able to progress through to the finals with the surprise surely being Pretoria athlete Taylon Bieldt’s failure to make the 100m hurdles final.
The African Youth Champion in Botswana last year, Bieldt’s 13.57 for fourth spot in the first of three semi-final heats wasn’t enough to pull her through. She missed out on qualifying by just 0.05sec, was 10th fastest and will at least have the consolation of knowing that of the nine women faster than her, six had to run personal bests to beat her!
Other athletes to go through to finals were Theuns Ehlers, whose 1:51.22 was third best into Saturday’s final behind Ethiopia’s Omer Amano’s 1:50.31 and Morne van As, whose 51.96 in the third of three heats means he’s into the 400m hurdles finals.