South African Athletics

Visser claims Colombian gold

2015-07-19 09:15
Discus (File)

Colombia - Pretoria discus thrower Werner Visser was worth his weight in gold claiming the IAAF World Youth title in his specialist event in Cali, Colombia on Saturday.

Visser came into the championships as the overwhelming favourite after boasting the four longest throws this season.

Coming into the championships Visser had five throws over 64 metres behind his name and produced a sixth on Saturday to claim the title.

He opened with a throw of 59.03m which, after the second round, was good enough for a bronze medal.

Not content with third place, Visser then launched his best throw of the evening with his final effort with the discus landing at a distance of 64.64m.

China's Yuhan Wang claimed the silver medal with a throw of 60.33m with George Evans of Britain bagging bronze with a best effort of 60.22m.

"I was hoping for a better distance because for the last two weeks in training I was throwing over 65m easily," Visser said.

"I expected to medal, so I was very nervous before the competition but as I saw the third attempt going over 64 metres I knew I would medal."

Visser is the first South African to win a gold medal at the World Youth Championships with Gerhard de Beer's bronze medal from 2011 the previous best performance.

The Hoerskool Zwartkop pupil said the victory fuelled his goal of reaching greater heights.

"It means a lot to me. My long-term goal is to one day win gold at the Olympics," Visser said.

Patrick Duvenage, who also featured in the final could not reproduce his personal best of 63.34m which would have ensured him a medal.

Instead his throws dropped short of the 60-metre mark and he had to settle for seventh place with his best throw of 58.71m.

Duvenage and Visser are training partners at the Pierre Blignaut Shot Put and Discus Academy and have both been in superb throughout the year.

While many South African athletes show immense promise as youth athletes they often get lost to other sporting codes due to the lure and promise of greater riches. Visser, however, only has eyes for discus and believes he can etch out a career for himself in athletics.

In their preparations for the hot and humid conditions in Colombia, Visser and Duvenage trained at noon whenever possible during South Africa's autumn and winter.

Ockert attended the IAAF World Youth Championships courtesy of the IAAF. His accommodation was paid for by the Colombian athletics federation.

Read more on:    athletics

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