GEEL, SPARKS WIN GOLD IN ADDIS

 
Updated: March 5, 2015

Leandri Geel and Kaitlyn Sparks got South Africa’s campaign off to a great start on Thursday, grabbing gold medals on the opening day of the African Junior Championships in Addis Ababa.
Geel, who was sixth at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, dominated the women’s discus throw final, securing victory by more than two metres with a best heave of 46.76m.
Fellow South African Ashley Nieuwenhuyzen took fourth place with a 42.87m effort, falling 32 centimetres short of the bronze medal.
Sparks, meanwhile, sailed to victory in the women’s pole vault final with a best height of 3.40m.
Nahid Klilou of Morocco was the only other athlete to successfully clear the bar, at a height of 2.20, to take the silver medal.
Meanwhile, Tamzyn Thomas stamped her place as the favourite for the women’s 100m title, qualifying fastest in the heats in 12.02 seconds, with Simone du Plooy progressing as the third quickest athlete in 12.20 ahead of Friday’s final.
Darren de Bruin was fourth fastest in the men’s 100m semifinals in 10.70, also booking his place in the short sprint final.
In the men’s 400m hurdles heats, Larry Lombaard clocked the second fastest time of 52.56 as he too coasted into the final of his event.
Hanno Coetzer was eliminated, finishing fifth in his heat in 58.93.

* See results of finals on our Results page