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Rahme, Smith steal show

Pole vault sensation Cheyne Rahme and hammer throw star Annemie Smith rewrote the record books on their way to achieving world junior championship qualifying performances, on the opening day of the Yellow Pages SA Youth and Junior Track and Field Championships at the Germiston Stadium on Saturday.

Rahme, fully recovered from a flesh wound injury sustained during competition in Tshwane a month ago, cleared 5.50 metres, bettering the previous mark of 5.46 set by Okkert Brits back in 1992.

The 19-year-old University of Johannesburg B Comm student cleared 5.10 metres at his second attempt, before getting over 5.30 and then 5.50. He then tried unsuccessfully at 5.60 which is the Commonwealth qualifying target, but it was not to be.

ÔÇ£I am delighted to have gone beyond the 5.46 metres mark to qualify for the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Canada in July, and to get the national junior record is terrific,ÔÇØ said Rahme, who is coached by pole vault great Riaan Botha.

“I have the 5.60 Commonwealth mark in my sights and hopefully will get there at the SA Student Championships in Potchefstroom later this month, or at the world junior championships or at some other overseas events.ÔÇØ

In relation to his recent injury, he said: ÔÇ£I have put rubber tips on the end of my poles to reduce the chance of the pole digging into my body like what happened when things went wrong in Tshwane last month.ÔÇØ

George-based hammer throw star Smith joined Rahme in being the talk of athletics, as she produced a morning best of 55.25.

This effort is one of three throws this year ÔÇô her best being 57.13 set at the national schools championships last month┬á – that await ratification as as the new national junior record at the next ASA Council meeting.

Her current official national mark stands at 54.21 set in March last year.