Thirty-one athletes are Barcelona bound to do duty for South Africa at the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Spain in July.
The team will be made up of 14 men and 17 women and is a good spread of experience and up and coming talent. Dates for the championships are 10-15 July.
The experience belongs to Gerhard de Beer (discus) and Morne Moolman (Javelin) who both won medals at the World Youth Championships in 2011, while others such as Duwayne Boer, Pieter Conradie, Jan-Louw Kotze and Fana Mofokeng┬áalso took part.
Of the women, seven of the athletes have experience competing at the World Youth Championships in France. They are Julia du Plessis, Ane Fourie, Kayla Gilbert, Liezl Hechter, Lezaan Jordaan, Thato Makhafoloa and Stephanie Wicksell.
Simone Meyer, Zanri van der Merwe and Justine Palframan were at World Youths in Italy three years ago and Palframan also went to World Juniors in Moncton, Canada two years ago. Palframan also won the women’s 400m at senior championships in Port Elizabeth earlier this year, setting a personal best of 52.33sec in the process.
At Moncton, Boland’s Luvo Manyonga won gold in the long jump event and Tazmin Brits took bronze in the women’s javelin. These were our only two medals at the championships.
Boer won the youth long jump at the Yellow Pages SA Schools and Junior Championships in Germiston with a leap of 7.68m, a massive improvement on his previous best of 7.20m at the World Youth Championships in France in 2011.┬áBoer is one of three talented youth athletes included in the team, the others being Julia Du Plessis in the high jump and new SA 800m Youth record holder, Monique Stander.
The full team is:
Men: Duwayne Boer (long jump), Pieter Conradie (400m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Gerhard de Beer (discus), Ruan Greyling (400m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Anges Julies (110m hurdles, 4x100m ÔÇô reserve), ┬áJan-Louw Kotze (discus), Adam Lipschitz (3000m steeplechase), Thapelo Madiba (800m, 4x400m ÔÇô reserve), Mpho Maphutha (long jump), Fana Mofokeng (100m 4x100m), Morne Moolman (javelin), Siphelo Ngqabaza (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Bernard Pretorius (400mH, 4x400m), Taariq Solomons (400mH, 4x400m)
Women: Julia du Plessis (high jump), Ane Fourie (400mH, 4x400m), Kayla Gilbert (110mH), Liezel Hechter (200m, 4x400m), Lezaan Jordaan (shot put) Thato Makhafola (800m), Simone Meyer (discus), Izelle Neuhoff (400mH, 4x400m), Justine Palframan (400m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Nabeela Parker (100m, 4x100m), Janet Seeliger (400m, 4x400m), Ischke Senekal (discus), Monique Stander (800m), Philippa van der Merwe (100m, 4x100m), Zanri van der Merwe (long jump, 4x100m), Chante van Tonder (200m, 4x100m), Stephanie Wicksell (4x400m).