de Beer to defend title in Tshwane - SA under-age Championships

South Africa Juniors

Gerhard de Beer, World Junior Championships bronze medalist in the discus throw, will be one of the athletes amongst the men to defend his title at the SA Sub-Youth, Youth, Junior and Under 23 Championships. 

The event is set to take place at the Pilditch stadium in Tshwane from 4-6 April 2013.

De Beer will be amongst the junior men competing throw and will contend for the title again this year after winning the title in 2012 with a throw of 58.52m.  Since the previous championships, De Beer added a World Junior Championships bronze medal to his World Youth Championships bronze in 2011.

“My preparation has been okay, but I only finished last month with shoulder rehabilitation after an operation in August”, said de Beer.  “I am looking forward to the competition.  You never know what will happen on the day due to new talent moving up the ranks as well as old talent improving,” he added.

De Beer won the Gauteng North Championships on 16 March in Pretoria with a throw of 58.75m, but his best remains 61.64m at the Southern Region Junior Championships in Windhoek on 28 April 2012.  His goal is to win the gold at the Africa Junior Championships later in the year.

Other familiar faces amongst the junior men include Fana Mofokeng, Hendrick Khumalo and Angus Julies amongst the sprinters. 

But, the fastest time in South Africa this year in the junior men’s 100m was run by Thando Roto from Gauteng North at the provincial Championships on 15 March.  Roto won the race ahead of Jon Seeliger in 10.62sec.  Seeliger is currently ranked second in the country with 10.66sec while Fana Mofokeng is only ranked fourth. Mofokeng is top ranked over 200m with a best time of 21.29sec followed by Seeliger and Roto, their best recorded at 21.40sec and 21.63 respectively.

Constant Pretorius, a 2011 World Youth Championships finalist in the 400m hurdles, will also line up at the championships.

The 2011 Javelin World Youth Champions Reinhard van Zyl will be back after an elbow injury prevented him from qualifying for the 2012 World Junior Championships.  The 19 year-old competed at the recent Gauteng North Championships where his winning throw of 63.17m currently places him fifth on the SA Junior ranking list.

“My goal is to get to a minimum of 70m and then build up to the Africa Junior Championships later in the year,” said Van Zyl.  Pieter Kriel from Central North West tops the list with 67.34m.

Some of the familiar faces in the men’s under 23 category include Gideon Trotter competing in the 100m and 200m while Central Gauteng’s Waide Jooste also lines up in the men’s 100m. 

Olympic 4x400m athlete Shaun de Jager will be up against Wayde van Niekerk in the men’s 400m while athletes such as Rynardt van Rensburg will line up in the 800m.  Van Rensburg ran 1:47.87 at a permit meeting in Potchefstroom on 19 March. 

Other athletes include Rocco van Rooyen in the javelin throw and Roelf Pienaar in the long jump.

Youth athletes will use this event as an opportunity to qualify for the World Youth Championships in Ukraine in July.

Entry fees at the stadium will be R30 for adults while kids under the age of 15 get in for free.  Options for reserved seating will be available at R100 for the 3 days, but seats are limited.

(Athletics SA)

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