Global champions Luke Davids and Sokwakhana “Soks” Zazini lived up to the hype on Thursday (28 March 2019) securing national titles in their specialist events on the opening day of the Twizza ASA U18 and U20 Track & Field Championships at the Dal Josaphat Athletics Stadium in Paarl.
Davids, who lined up as the firm favourite in the junior men’s 100m final after winning the short sprint title at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires last year, stormed to victory in 10.42 seconds.
The Western Province Athletics (WPA) speedster crossed the line 0.11 clear of Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) opponent, Phathutshedzo Maswanganyi, who grabbed the silver medal in 10.53.
“I executed my race to perfection and it went according to plan,” Davids said. “I didn’t want to rush anything, so I just went through my phases and it’s a nice result.”
Rose Xeyi, representing AGN, was equally impressive in the junior women’s 100m final. She charged home in 11.91, adding the national U20 title to the U18 crown she won last year, with provincial teammate Remoneilwe Pasha taking second place in 12.17.
Zazini, meanwhile, was in dominant form in the junior men’s 400m hurdles final. Having won the world youth and junior titles in 2017 and 2018, Zazini was expected to steal the show on home soil, and while he did not display his best form, he won comfortably in 50.72.
“Of course I’m happy, but I just need to work on my fitness and a little bit on my technique and stride patterns,” Zazini said. “But everything is coming together now. This is my season’s best, so it’s looking good but it’s still early in the season.”
Earlier in the morning, Cwenga Nosa of Transkei put in an incredible solo effort in the men’s U20 10 000m race. Nosa took the lead just after halfway in the race and from there proceeded to time trial away from the chasing pack. His 30:32.62 time was 41seconds ahead of runner up Carlo Flink from Western Province (31:14.38). Flink, who had stormed into the early lead before being caught by Nosa, had to hang on for the silver medal, just edging Andries Sesedi from Central Gauteng Athletics (31:14.56).
The programme on the second day of competition at the Twizza ASA U18 and U20 Track & Field Championships will get under way at 7am on Friday.
“It is a huge privilege for Drakenstein Municipality to be part of this tournament, and it is perfectly in line with our vision of being a city of excellence,” says Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality. “In our excitement, on behalf of the entire residents of our municipality, I extend a warm welcome to all the athletes, coaches, family and friends of the Twizza ASA U18 and U20 Track & Field Championships.
“We thank the athletics family for your role in the development of our youth and junior’s skills and talents. It is through your support, the development of sport and events like these that we are able to build a city and country that is free, fair and united. I hope you enjoy what Drakenstein has to offer and that you will return for many visits in the near future.”
According to Dr Harold Adams, Boland Athletics President: “Our federation is extremely proud and honoured, to be hosting this year’s championships in Paarl. The Athletics track at Dal Josaphat Stadium was recently renovated and upgraded by Drakenstein Municipality to adhere to international standards. It was then certified by the IAAF as a Class 1 Athletics track. The stadium is now one of only 3 athletics tracks in South Africa with an IAAF Class 1 grading.
The certification enables Drakenstein Municipality and Boland Athletics to host international athletics events at the stadium. Effectively this means that athletes will now be able to qualify for the Olympic Games on the venue.
The other unique feature is that this venue it is located within the community of Drakenstein Municipality, and therefore easily accessible to the community. We therefore thank Drakenstein Municipality for the good maintenance of Dal Josaphat Stadium, especially ahead of this Championship.”
EVENT INFORMATION: Twizza ASA U18 and U20 Track & Field Championships
|Date:||Thursday, 28 March 2019 – Saturday, 30 March 2019|
|Venue:||Dal Josaphat Stadium (Paarl)|
|Time:||· Morning sessions will start at 07:00 on all three days.
· Afternoon sessions will begin at 14:00 on the opening day and at 15:00 on days two and three.
The full programme of events will be available on the ASA website.
|Entry Fee:||FREE for competing athletes|
|Events:||Hurdles, Shot Put, Pole Vault, Javelin Throw, High Jump, Long Jump, Hammer Throw, Triple Jump, Decathlon, 1500m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 5000m, 10000m, 800m, 3000m Steeple Chase, 20km Walk, 4x 100m Relay and 4x 400m Relay.|
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Website: www.asajuniors.co.za (for programme/team lists/draws / start lists/results) / www.athletics.org.za
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About Athletics South Africa:
Athletics South Africa (ASA) is the national governing body for the sport of athletics (including Track and Field, Cross Country, Road Running and Race Walking) in South Africa, is a member of the IAAF and the Confederation of African Athletics. The association is based in Johannesburg.