SPRINT TALENT ON SHOW AT SA AGE GROUP CHAMPS

 
Updated: March 30, 2016

The stage is set for South Africa’s most promising sprinters to light up the track, as they prepare to square off at Germiston Stadium this week.
The high-altitude venue will host the SA Sub-Youth, Youth, Junior and Under-23 Championships starting on Thursday, March 31.
In perhaps the most anticipated race of the three-day championships, speed sensations Kyle Appel of Western Province, and Gauteng North prodigies Gift Leotlela and Clarence Munyai will line up in the junior men’s 100m and 200m events, after the trio were included in the entry lists for both distances.
All three athletes have displayed tremendous potential, with Appel earning the silver medal in the 200m dash at last year’s World Youth Championships, Leotlela setting a national youth 100m record of 10.20 seconds late last season, and Munyai clocking 20.39 over 200m in Johannesburg less than two weeks ago to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
In the U-23 women’s 100m sprint, Tebogo Mamathu will look to close in on the Olympic qualifying standard of 11.32, also forming part of Gauteng North’s powerful sprint contingent.
With senior athletes Carina Horn and Alyssa Conley having already dipped under the required time to be considered for Games selection, Mamathu will be eager to shine in Germiston and place herself in contention for the Rio team.
Other rising stars who are expected to stand out at the annual age group championships include Youth Olympic Games 400m hurdles champion Gezelle Magerman and Gauteng North teammates Werner Visser, the world youth discus throw champion, and Nicola de Bruyn, the World Youth Championships 200m bronze medallist.
Meanwhile, athletes of all ages from around the country will be eager to reap the rewards of their efforts during the domestic track and field season, with medals and national titles up for grabs across the various age groups.
For some athletes, the championships, hosted by Central Gauteng Athletics, will serve as a qualifying opportunity and form part of their build-up to international events, including the Southern Region Youth Track and Field Championships in Lesotho (April 30 – May 1), the Southern Region Junior Track and Field Championships in Zambia (June 4-5) and the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz (July 19-24).
For others, particularly in the U-23 division, it will also create a launching pad to major open events such as the SA Senior Championships in Stellenbosch (April 15-16), the African Senior Championships in Durban (June 22-26) and the Olympic Games in Rio (August 16-21).

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