Colombia - South Africa's discus throw duo Werner Visser and Patrick Duvenage on Friday enhanced the team’s chances of winning its first medal at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Colombia after qualifying for the final.
Visser is perhaps South Africa’s best hope for a medal boasting with the leading world youth distance of 65.30m.
The Hoërskool Zwartkop pupil, who is also the only athlete to have gone over 65 metres this season, met the qualifying standard on his first attempt dropping the disk at a distance of 61.93m.
Although he made light work of the qualifying for Saturday's final, he was not satisfied with the performance.
"I didn't really feel that good because with my first two warm-up throws the one was left out of the cage while the other one went into the net," Visser said.
Duvenage qualified for the final with his second throw that dropped at 59.63m.
The King Edward VII School athlete’s 63.34m throw in April is the fifth best effort this season.
Duvenage said he was happy with his performance with the qualifier going the way he had planned.
Both South Africa’s 200m sprinters Kyle Appel and Tlotliso Leotlela won their heats to advance to Saturday's semi-finals.
Leotlela, the Africa youth champion posted the fastest time of the day clocking 20.82 seconds.
The TuksSport High School student, who boasts the second fastest time this season said he went out fast knowing the quality of the line-up.
"I had to go out fast, I am happy with my run and now I just look forward to the semis," Leotlela said.
Appel bounced back from the disappointment of a false start in yesterday's 100m semi-final to declare his readiness for the next round in the one-lap sprint.
"I wanted to save some energy for the semi-final which I believe I am ready for," Appel said.
"That is now behind me and I am confident that I could go home with a medal."
Nicola du Bruyn advanced to the 200m semi-final after winning her heat with a time of 23.99s.
Liza Kellerman finished her women's 800m semi-final in seventh place with a time of 2:14.05 to miss out on a spot on the final.
The 110m hurdles duo of Mpho Tladi and Levert Pieterse were knocked out in their respective semi-finals.
Pieterse's race came to a heartbreaking end when he stumbled over the final hurdle after leading the entire race.
He tumbled, got back up and completed the race in last place.
"I was confident before the race, I was leading and I did everything that I had planned to do," said Pieterse, who managed to get this far without a coach.
Ockert attended the IAAF World Youth Championships courtesy of the IAAF.
His accommodation was paid for by the Colombian athletics federation.