Some fine performances were produced again on Friday, closing out another successful edition of the SASA High Schools National Track and Field Championships in Germiston, Johannesburg.
With SA schools records having tumbled across the various age groups over the previous few days, another one fell on the track on the fourth and final day of action.
Representing host province Gauteng, Marli Dimond stormed home in 2:05.98* to win gold in the Girls 17 final of the 800m event.She clipped 0.23 off the SA schools mark of 2:06.21, which had been set by Monique Stander at the same venue in March 2012.Dimond finished well clear of silver medallist Salma Bejia of KwaZulu-Natal (2:09.36) and bronze medallist Paballo Radebe of the Free State (2:13.36).
Chris-Mari Nel shone again with another national title. After winning the Girls 15 discus throw final earlier in the championships, she finished on top in the shot put.Nel’s best attempt of 15.96m was just seven centimetres short of the SA schools record (16.03m) held by Mine de Klerk, again showcasing her tremendous potential.
Jamore Olivier of the North West took second place with a solid result of her own (15.47m), with Heidi Booysen of Gauteng ending third (14.78m).
In sprint events, Kaylee le Roux also narrowly missed a national schools record in the Girls 19 final over 200m, crossing the line in 23.97, just 0.04 outside the SA mark (23.93).She wrapped up a 100m/200m double, finishing with a comfortable gap over Gauteng teammate Kayla la Grange who grabbed the silver medal in 24.32.
In the Boys 19 half-lap final, Neo Mosebi of KwaZulu-Natal also added the 200m title (20.91) to the 100m crown he won the day before.
Flaunting his versatility, Naeem Jack of the Western Cape secured a double of his own in the Boys 15 age group, winning the 200m final after charging to 100m hurdles gold earlier in the week.
Jack was just 0.09 outside the SA schools record, while Gauteng athlete Kaili Botje won 200m gold in the Girls 17 division, also missing the national mark by 0.09.
“Congratulations to all winners and all participants for putting up a good show,” said James Moloi, the President of Athletics South Africa. “This has been a wonderfull competition which we will review with Sassa and see where we can improve it next year.
“We are looking forward to these athletes graduating to be juniors and eventually seniors. These are elite athletes in the making and we can assure them that with hard work they can become successfull professionals.”