Sprinter Gift Leotlela and middle-distance runner Simonay Weitsz were the top performers at the weekend as the ASA Junior and Youth Championships ended in style at Green Point Athletics Stadium, Cape Town.
Leotlela stormed to a personal best in the junior men’s 200m final, in the absence of national record holder Clarence Munyai, to charge across the line in 20.28 seconds.
Munyai withdrew from the podium race as a precaution ahead of the ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships in Potchefstroom on 20-22 April, after picking up a muscle strain in the semi-finals, leaving Leotlela as favourite.
Said Leotlela, a double sprint champion at the last Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa: ‘I went out hard because I told myself to go hard the whole race,’ said Leotlela, the SA 100m record-holder in his age group.
‘I remained relaxed, kept my composure, and I’m very happy with my time.’
Weitsz ,meanwhile, wrapped up an impressive treble.
After winning the junior women’s 1 500m final on Friday, she went on to add the 800m (2:06.96) and 3 000m (9:58.31) titles to her tally.
Zeney van der Walt also delivered a fine performance in the youth girls 400m hurdles final, clocking 57.94.
She was just 0.03sec outside the national record held by 2014 Olympic Youth Games champion, Gezelle Magerman.
In the relay events, the Gauteng North team, who dominated the two-day championships, scooped all four 4×100-metre relay crowns.