Gift Leotlela joined the list of record breakers at the Athletics Gauteng North Championships in Tshwane on Saturday, dashing across the line in 10.12 seconds to obliterate the national junior 100-metre mark.
The 18-year-old World Junior Championships 200m silver medallist and a star at the last Junior Commonwealth Games in Samoa two years ago, won his first-round heat in the Under-20 division, taking 0.07 off the previous SA best, set by Akani Simbine in at the Region 5 Games in Lusaka, Zambia in December 2012.
Leotlela added the mark to his SA youth record of 10.20, which he clocked in Samoa two years ago.
Later in the day, Simbine stormed to a season’s best of 9.92 to win the senior men’s 100m final, and 21-year-old Thando Roto shattered his personal best in second place.
Roto crashed through the 10-second barrier, stopping the clock in 9.95. He improved his career best of 10.18, climbing to second place in the all-time national rankings and joining compatriots Simbine (9.89), Henricho Bruintjies (9.97), Simon Magakwe (9.98) and Wayde van Niekerk (9.98) under the magical sub-10 mark.
On Friday’s opening day of competition at Tuks Stadium, Sokwakhana Zazini had set a world youth best of 48.84* in the 400m hurdles and Rio Olympics silver medallist Luvo Manyonga broke the SA long jump record with a leap of 8.62m*.
‘We congratulate Gift for achieving such a high quality result of a national record, also early in the season, and especially in the year of the IAAF Youth and Senior World championships later in the year.
‘The result is a true reflection of hours and months of dedication by coaches and the athlete, in particular. We look forward to see more records falling in the later part of the season.”
* The SA record is subject to standard ratification processes.