Cape Town - Gerhard de Beer’s 61.57m in the final of the men’s discus throw, won the first medal for South Africa on the third day of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
De Beer opened with a throw of 56.56m placing him sixth at the time. He followed up with 60.13m and 61.25m before delivering his best throw of the evening, measuring 61.57m. Unfortunately his last two attempts were fouls. This is the Gauteng North athlete’s second best performance of the season, just seven centimetres short of his personal best recorded in Windhoek on 28 April.
“I was hoping for the gold medal, but I’ll accept the bronze. It was a good experience, this is the way one learns,” said De Beer after the competition. “I was a bit tense before the final, but overjoyed once the competition started.”
Jamaican athlete Fedrick Dacres won the gold after his biggest throw measured 62.80m. He also won gold at the World Youth Championships in 2011. Wojciech Praczyk from Poland came second and took silver with a distance of 62.75m.
Justine Palframan qualified for the final with a fast time in the women’s 400m. The first two athletes in every race automatically qualify for the final as well as the two fastest times. The athlete from Kwazulu-Natal finished behind Erika Rucker (USA) and Kadecia Baird (GUY). Palframan crossed the line in 52.65sec. Rucker’s winning time was 52.05 with Baird finishing in 52.40sec.
Other action on day 3 included Morne Moolman in the qualifying rounds of the men’s javelin throw who easily proceeded to the final. The automatic qualifying distance was 72m. Moolman surpassed the distance with his opening throw. Seven other athletes also reached the automatic qualifying distance. The Western Province athlete finished second in his group with a distance of 72.64m while Luke Cann (AUS) won the round throwing 74.54m.
Earlier on the day Siphelo Ngqabaza qualified for the semifinal of the men’s 200m, but fell out after he finished in a combined third place with Aska Cambridge (JAP), both clocking 21.24sec. Only the first two places are assured of an automatic place in the final, as well as the two fastest times. Faster times were however clocked in the other heats where both athletes had times of 21.06sec. Ngqabaza faced a strong headwind (-4.5m/sec) in his race.
The final of the men’s javelin throw event is set to take place tonight at 20:35. Keshorn Walcott (TRI) is currently No 1 on the world ranking list with a leading distance of 82.83m. Braian Toledo (ARG) has recorded his best of 79.73m in May in Buenos Aires. Some of the top ranked names failed to qualify for the final.
Izelle Neuhoff and Ane Fourie, in the women’s 400m hurdles, were not fast enough to secure a lane in the semifinals as they finished 60.83sec and 60.93sec respectively.
In the women’s long jump, Zanri van der Merwe finished with a best jump of 5.77m in the qualifying rounds, placing her 13th.