South African Athletics

Botha bags SA’s second gold

2015-07-20 10:27
Javelin (File)

Colombia - South African javelin thrower Paul Botha launched a personal best throw of 78.49m to win the country's second gold at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Colombia on Sunday.

"I am very happy, I did better than yesterday and it was my goal to come and win with a personal best throw," Botha said.

Bowing out with five medals - two gold, two silver and bronze - it was one of the country’s best performances at the championships since its inception in 1999.

Botha is the third South African to win the javelin throw title at the World Youth Championships following in the footsteps of Noel Meyer (2005) and Reinhard van Zyl (2011).

The javelin throw is undoubtedly the country’s best event in the championships.

In the boys' javelin alone South African athletes have won three gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

Botha's first throw placed him in fourth place but his second attempt of 78.49m launched him into first place.

The winning heave was close to four metres further than his previous best he set the day before.

Germany’s Niklas Kaul claimed the silver medal with his 78.05m while Vladislav Palyunin of Uzbekistan finished third on the podium with 76.77m.

Hercules van Vuuren, who produced the best throw of the qualifying round, had to be content with fifth place.

A gutsy anchor run by Kyle Appel in the 4x400m medley relay pushed South Africa’s medal tally to five in the final event of the day.

Appel produced an inspiring run less than two hours after he won the silver medal in the boys' 200m in a new national record time.

The South African quartet of Appel, Taylon Bieldt, Renate van Tonder and Andre Marich opted for a boy-girl-girl-boy combination.

When the Hoerskool Brackenfell pupil took the baton for the final leg the team were lagging far behind.

He took off like a rocket which seemed unsustainable but instead Appel gained on the field picking them off one-by-one before crossing the line simultaneously with Canada's Kyra Constantine.

Although both teams posted a time of 3:23.60 a photo-finish reading was in South Africa’s favour.

The United States quartet won the relay with a commanding time of 3:19.54.

Appel collapsed from exhaustion and was stretchered off the track missing the medal ceremony.

It took some time for Appel to regain himself but he recovered to join the rest of the team at the hotel.

Earlier, Appel won the silver medal in a time of 20.57 seconds to break Gift Leotlela's South African youth record by 0.06.

"I am really happy and second place is good enough for me," Appel said after his 200m run.

"There was a lot of pressure on me but told myself to be positive and it worked."

Appel bounced back in style from the disappointment of false starting in the 100m semi-final earlier this week.

The youngster trains with South African 110m hurdles ace Antonio Alkana, who is an inspiring figure to Appel.

Leotlela also featured in the race where he finished in fifth place with a time of 20.86.

Japan's Sani Brown won the race in a new championship record time of 20.34 to claim the 100-200m double.

The United States' Josephus Lyles bagged the bronze in 20.74.

Nicola de Bruyn posted a new personal best time of 23.38 to win the bronze medal in the girls' 200m final.

The United States' Candace Hill won the race in a new world youth best time of 22.43 to also add the 100-200m double title to her name.

Hill's compatriot Lauren Rain Williams followed behind her in a time of 22.90.

"I'm really happy winning the bronze medal with a new personal best time," De Bruyn said.

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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