LEOTLELA QUALIFIES FOR RIO OLYMPICS

 
Updated: June 18, 2016

Rising teenage sprint star Gift Leotlela stole the show on Saturday, smashing his 200m personal best to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
The 18-year-old athlete won the men’s 200m final in 20.47 seconds at the Southern Region Under-20 Championships in Lusaka, Zambia, adding to the 100m title he won on Friday’s opening day of competition.
He chopped 0.09 off his previous career record and dipped under the required mark of 20.50 to be considered for selection to the Rio Games.
He became the second South African teenager to qualify for the multi-sport showpiece in the half-lap dash, after training partner Clarence Munyai set a personal best of 20.36 in Germiston in April.
The SA team, meanwhile, bagged another 18 medals in Lusaka, wrapping up their campaign at the two-day event with a total of 43 medals, including 26 gold, 15 silver and two bronze.
Tamzin Thomas also bagged a short sprint double, charging to victory in 23.84 in the women’s 200m final to lead a South African sweep of the podium, with Madia Ehlers and Taylon Bieldt earning silver and bronze respectively.
Thomas had already won the 100m title the day before, while Ehlers had pocketed silver in the same race, and Bieldt had taken gold in the 100m hurdles.
Kabelo Melamu won the men’s 5 000m final in 14:59.93, after winning the 10 000m race on Friday, and fellow distance runner Simonay Weitsz added the women’s 1 500m gold (4:33.56) to her 800m victory.
In an impressive feat, Ikageng Gaorekwe earned two medals on the same day in distance events, charging to gold in the 3 000m steeplechase (9:22.85) and taking second place behind Melamu in the 5 000m final (15:07.91).
Werner Visser and Jason van Rooyen were also double medallists at the regional championships, taking gold and silver in the men’s discus throw, as they swapped positions from the shot put event held a day earlier.

SA medallists on day two of the Southern Region U-20 Championships (18 June, 2016):

Men

Gift Leotlela – gold, 200m (20.47)
Kabelo Melamu – gold, 5 000m (14:59.93)
Ikageng Gaorekwe – gold, 3 000m steeplechase (9:22.85)
Chris Moleya – gold, high jump (2.23m)
Werner Visser – gold, discus throw (57.42m)
Carel Haasbroek – gold, hammer throw (67.40m)
Relay team – gold, 4x100m (40.43)
Relay team – gold, 4x400m (3:10.07)
George Kusche – silver, 800m (1:49.36)
Ikageng Gaorekwe – silver, 5 000m (15:07.91)
Jason van Rooyen – silver, discus throw (53.66m)

Women

Tamzin Thomas – gold, 200m (23.84)
Simonay Weitsz – gold, 1 500m (4:33.56)
Jo-Ane van Dyk – gold, javelin throw (54.03m)
Relay team – 4x100m (54.03)
Relay team – 4x400m (3:45.68)
Madia Ehlers – silver, 200m (24.03)
Taylon Bieldt – bronze, 200m (24.08)