Philippa van der Merwe became the fastest 100-metre athlete in South Africa this season and reached the qualifying standard (11.70sec) for this year’s World Junior Championships in the heats on day one of the Yellow Pages South African Youth, Junior and Schools National Track and Field Championships in Germiston on Thursday.
The World Junior Championships will be held in Barcelona, Spain in July and Van der Merwe qualified by winning her heat in 11.65sec.┬áOther athletes to have joined her on the qualifying list were Siphello Ngqabaza, Duwayne Boer and Fana Mofokeng.
Last year Van der Merwe became the first athlete from the North West Cape to win a medal at a national championships and went on to competed at the World Youth Championships in France.
She will race in the final of the 100m on Friday. In the semi-finals Van der Merwe was beaten by Nabeela Parker from Western Cape Schools who won the semi-final in 11.94sec.
Siphello Ngqabaza (Free State Schools) finished well inside the qualifying standard (10.54sec) in the 100m heats and again in the semi-final.┬áNgqabaza clocked 10.45sec in both the heats and the semi-final.┬á In another heat Fana Mofokeng’s (Free State Schools) 10.52sec dipped under the qualification standard of 10.54sec set by Athletics SA.
Duwayne Boer (AGN) easily won the youth boys long jump with a leap of 7.68m, three centimetres further than the junior qualifying standard of 7.65m.┬áBoer was part of the team that represented South Africa at the World Youth Championships in Lille, France last year. Teammate Frederich Pretorius finished second with 7.23m while Ryan Pottinge, an athlete from Gauteng Schools, won bronze with a leap of 7.10m in the third round.
The championships will end on Saturday.