Teenage sprinter Gift Leotlela made another statement on Friday night, building on his terrific form ahead of the SA Junior and Youth Championships in Cape Town next week, by equalling his own national Under-20 record in the 100m dash.
Leotlela charged to victory in 10.12* seconds at the second and final leg of the Varsity Athletics Series held at Tuks Stadium in Tshwane, matching the junior mark he had set on the same track at the Gauteng North Provincial Championships two weeks earlier.
His training partner Clarence Munyai was also on fire, storming to a convincing win in the 200m sprint in 20.25 secs, crossing the line 0.15 outside his own SA Junior record.
Letitia Janse van Vuuren also came close to bettering her national mark in the Women’s Hammer Throw.
The 20-year-old athlete produced a 62.37m heave to win her specialist discipline, less than two metres short of the 63.82m* SA record she set in Sasolburg on Tuesday.
Back on the track, Tebogo Mamatu clocked 11.48 to win the 100m event, 0.08 shy of her Personal Best. World Student Games 400m champion, Justine Palframan enjoyed a return to form, taking the 200m contest in 23.39 to rip 0.48 off her Season’s Best.
In the Women’s 100m Hurdles, Rikenette Steenkamp earned the win in 13.21, completing the race 0.12 outside her Personal Best in her latest attempt to become the second SA woman to dip under 13 seconds.
The country’s top student athletes will now fine-tune for various championship events this month, including the ASA Junior and Youth Championships in Cape Town on April 7 and 8, the ASA Senior Championships in Potchefstroom on April 21 and 22, and the USSA Student Championships in Port Elizabeth on April 28 and 29.
“We take the opportunity to congratulate this young man who is proving to be an interesting athlete, full of ambition and is focussed.
“He is clearly showing his hand as a prospect, but will have to work harder to improve of his current performance. Together with his coaching staff, we believe they can do it,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.
* SA records are subject to standard ratification processes.