Delivering a spectacular display in front of a small home crowd at the CAA Southern Region U-20 and U-18 Championships on Saturday, the national team went on a successful record hunt at Boksburg City Stadium.
Having won 38 of 39 finals on Friday’s opening day, the SA squad were in barrier-breaking mode as they brought the regional age group event to a close.
After knocking on the door of the 21-metre barrier all season, Blignaut didn’t just break the door down. He stormed through it like an unstoppable juggernaut. With his opening attempt in the U-20 boys’ shot put final he became the first South African junior to clear the mark with a 21.09m heave, and after three more attempts beyond 20.80m, he launched a massive 21.65m national record.
“My first 21-metre throw came with my first attempt, so it was hard to hold back the emotion, but I kept my head straight because I knew I could get a big one today, and then it came. My coach and I are very happy.” – Blignaut
Juggling two disciplines, Morake admitted she was disappointed with her time of 59.77 seconds in the youth girls’ 400m hurdles final. But she shook it off immediately, heading straight to the triple jump pit, and with her fourth attempt she became the first SA athlete in her age group to clear 13 metres, landing at 13.10m to secure double gold.
“I want to keep working hard and rectify any mistakes moving forward because I have a burning desire to make it at the Youth Olympics.” – Morake
SA relay teams
In a flurry of superb performances which closed out the programme on the track, three South African relay teams set national records, with the junior men’s 4x100m quartet (39.33), the youth boys’ 4x100m squad (40.76) and the youth boys’ 4x400m team (3:13.72) all clocking new marks.
Another two SA records were also placed under threat, though they managed to withstand vicious rattles. The SA youth girls’ 4x100m team clocked 45.64 to win their final, just 0.02 outside the national record, and Dane Roets won the youth girls’ shot put title with a 17.46m heave, falling six centimetres short of Lezaan Jordaan’s six-year-old national mark.