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Semenya support for juniors

World 800 metres champion Caster Semenya has thrown her support behind the 22-strong SA track and field team that will be in the hunt for medals at the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, from July 19-25.

In an email sent to the team and placed on the team’s Facebook page, Semenya stated: ÔÇ£I would like to wish you luck on your trip to Canada for the World Junior Championships. As an athlete I would like to advise you when it comes to competitions. You need to be disciplined, concentrate! Stay focused at all times, I know it is difficult but you must try so you can be a winner; I know you will do us proud. LOVE YOU ALL. Caster Semenya.ÔÇØ

Semenya’s encouragement, as she looks to improve her fitness levels after being cleared by the IAAF to compete again, will further help motivate the young team who will be looking for a better medal return than the two silvers (Wilhelm van der Vyver in the 100m and the 4x100m relay team) and bronze (Andre Olivier in the 800m) achieved by the SA team at the previous World Junior Championships held in Bydgoszcz, Poland two years ago.

Other local athletics legends who have pledged their support to the SA junior team of 2010 include All-Africa pole vault record-holder Okkert Brits (who won bronze at the 4th IAAF World Junior Championships held in Seoul, South Korea in 1992) and Hezekiel Sepeng (who won silver for SA in the 800 metres at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996).

The SA junior team members who will leave for Canada on Wednesday are:


Waide Jooste              (100m)
Gideon Trotter             (100m)
Wayde van Niekerk     (200m)
Sean de Klerk             (200m)
Jacques de Swardt     (400m)
Shaun de Jager          (400m)
Ratlale Mokone          (1500m)
Kobus Moolman         (110m hurdles)
Werner Pretorius        (110m hurdles)
Pieter Marx                 (400m hurdles)
Le Roux Hamman      (400m hurdles)
Gert Swanepoel          (Decathlon)
Luvo Maniyonga         (Long jump)
Stefan Brits                 (Long jump)
Dewald van Heerden  (Discus)
Rocco van Rooyen     (Javelin)
Dean Goosen              (Javelin)


Justine Palframan       (200m)
Anuscha Nice             (800m)
Jean-Mare Senekal    (400m hurdles)
Annemie Smith           (Hammer)
Tazmin Britz                (Javelin)