Monday, 03 July 2017 12:45

SA juniors bag 17 medals in Algeria

The national Under-20 team earned six more podium places on Sunday to end their four-day campaign with a total of 17 medals (12 gold, four silver and one bronze) at the CAA African Junior Championships in Tlemcen, Algeria.

Sprinter Clarence Munyai stormed to a spectacular victory in the men's 200m final, clocking 20.22 for the second fastest time of his career.

Munyai shattered the 22-year-old championship record of 20.76 held by Ibrahim Meite of the Ivory Coast, finishing well ahead of Zimbabwean silver medallist Kundai Maguranyanga who crossed the line in 21.11.

In the men's discus, the SA squad bagged the top two positions, with Werner Dames launching a best effort of 72.75m to edge out countryman Hernu van Vuuren by just one centimetre.

Mpho Tladi was also in fine form, charging to a commanding win in the men's 110m hurdles final in 13.78, albeit with the benefit of a +2.4m/s tailwind.

Among the women, discus thrower Yolandi Stander secured gold with a best effort of 49.13m, adding to her silver medal in the shot put earlier in the week.

She fell 21 centimetres shy of her personal best, taking the title more than 10 metres clear of her nearest opponent.

Jana Steinmann, the shot put gold medallist, settled for fourth place in the discus, delivering a best attempt of 34.93m.

Versatile athlete Jone Kruger won the heptathlon with 4 850 points, holding off a challenge from Afaf Benhadja of Algeria, who took second place with 4 552 points in front of her home crowd.

The SA team finished second on the overall medal table behind Ethiopia, who bagged 38 medals, including 13 gold.

"We are very proud of the junior national team for the hard work they have put up and the medals they have brought home," said Aleck Skhosana, the president of Athletics South Africa.

"This is what sending out a national team is all about. Athletes going out there and putting their country first, is a spirit that continues to shine from our athletes.

"We always strive to be No 1 on the overall table, but it's a job well done nevertheless. So, it's congratulations to all athletes, coaches, management and everyone one who contributed to this success."

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