Free State junior hurdles sensation Tsepo Lefete gave the athletics statisticians some work to do, as he posted a national junior best time in the 110 metres hurdles, during an action-packed final day of the Yellow Pages SA Junior, Youth and Under-23 Championships in Germiston on Sunday.
Competing one week before the national senior championships in Durban this weekend, Lefete put the record ÔÇô which had previously been held by Louw Smit, a 13.73 set in 2007 – behind his name with a time of 13.71 seconds in the heats, before clocking 13.96 in the final, with the rain bucketing down.
ÔÇ£I am ecstatic and did not know I had broken the record,ÔÇØ said Lefete afterwards. ┬á”I┬á was not pushing hard and I can go even faster.ÔÇØ
Free State team-mate Wade van Niekerk’s 200 metres winning time of 20.67 was the seventh fastest by a SA junior athlete. The speedster hit the headlines last year when he finished fourth in the 200m final at the IAAF World Junior Championships held in Moncton, Canada.
Sedibeng based Izelle Neuhoff will also have fond memories of her two-day stay at the junior showpiece event in Germiston, with her winning time of 59.03 in the 400m hurdles youth category, being the third fastest time posted by an SA youth ever.
Gauteng North’s Mpho Maphuta became the youngest South African junior to jump eight metres when the 18-year-old posted 8m to take the gold medal in the junior category. Luvo Manyonga, world junior long jump champion, won the Under-23 title with an 8.07m winning effort in unfavourable jumping conditions
Western Province’s Samantha Pretorius posted a leap of 6.44m to claim gold in the women’s junior long jump competition. Her winning effort is the 11th best performance of all time in SA and the second best jump by a SA junior woman. It was a good day for Western Province and Pretorius in particular, who had won the 100 metres junior title in 11.93 seconds earlier.
SA senior 400m hurdles champion Cornel Fredericks from Boland, competing in the under-23 competition, clocked 48.95.
Meanwhile Justine Palframan, three-time gold gold medallist at last year’s Zone VI Games in Swaziland, competed for the first time since a hamstring injury in February. Palframan clocked a national Under-17 400m record of 52.88sec in Swaziland, still awaiting ratification. On Sunday she placed second to Anri Steyn in the one-lap final.
Central Gauteng’s Steyn clocked 53.69 for the win and, running in the outside lane, Palframan should be happy with her 54.07, given the circumstances.
Highlights of Saturday’s first day of action were George-based hammer thrower Annemie Smith, who also represented her county at the world junior athletics spectacle in Canada last July, taking first spot in her specialist field event and throwing the hammer 52.57m.
Also in the hammer Lionel Drury’s 62.62m meant he easily beat his 2010 best of 51.16 and his Eastern Province team-mate Dillan Korkie finished second in 61.49 ÔÇô also far superior to his 2010 best of 54.17.