South African teenage speed merchant Luke Davids was peerless in the 100m at the Youth Olympics winning the country’s third gold at the Games in Buenos Aires.
The country has won a total of five medals so far at the Games — three gold, silver and bronze — with Dané Roets finishing third in the women’s shot put.
There was no doubting the Parow High School pupil’s class as he won the two stages of the 100 metres in emphatic fashion.
Instead of heats and semi-finals, athletes competed in two races and the results of each were then combined.
Davids was the fastest in the first stage clocking 10.56 seconds before blitzing to a wind-assisted 10.15 to claim the gold medal on Monday evening.
“The feeling of being the fastest young man in the world and being No.1 is amazing,” Davids told the IOC.
“I’ve been dreaming of this moment for months now. People from Argentina seem as if they were from South Africa because of their kindness and, for that reason, I felt at home.”
Davids finished well ahead of Alaba Olukunle Akintola of Nigeria (10.24) in second place and Japan’s Seiryo Ikeda, who rounded off the podium in 10.30.
He went into the final race as the overwhelming favourite after kicking dust in his competitors in the first stage where he was 0.20s faster than any other athlete.
Davids is continuing South Africa’s rise as a sprinting powerhouse following in the footsteps of other youth and junior athletes in recent years.
Pretoria-based sprinter Gift Leotlela won the 200m silver medal at the U20 World Championships in Bydgoszcz in 2016 while Tshenolo Lemao was crowned 100m champion at last year’s U18 World Championships in Nairobi.
Davids dipped well below Leotlela’s national youth record of 10.20 but due to the strong 3.4 metre per second tailwind
The 17-year-old came into the Games with a personal best of 10.31 he clocked at the South African Youth and Junior Championships in Paarl where he raced to the national title.
Roets was also rewarded for her consistency at the Games winning the bronze medal in the women’s shot put.
The Noordheuwel pupil landed a best heave of 17.30 metres in the first stage and followed that up with an 17.34m effort for a combined distance of 34.64m.
Xinhui Li of China took the spoils with a combined distance of 36.75m thanks to two massive 18-metre throws.