Colombia - The South African athletes may have started slow but finished with a canter on the second day of the IAAF World Youth Championships in Colombia on Thursday.
Following gutsy performances in their semi-finals on Thursday evening, Morne van As and Theuns Ehlers, who are both from Hoerskool Eldoraigne in Pretoria advanced to their respective finals.
Ehlers started out strongly in the 800m taking the lead after the first 200m before dropping down to third place.
"I don't know my competitors so I decided to go out hard to get in front," Ehlers said.
"It was my goal to reach the final, so I am happy."
The South African, however, stubbornly stayed on Ethiopia's Omer Amano's shoulder to finish in second place with a time of 1:51.01.
Van As also hung on grittily to book his place for the 400m hurdles final with a time of 51.96 seconds.
"I am happy with my start but I am a bit unhappy with my finish when my legs couldn't hold it," Van As said.
"I hope this is the start of great things, this is my passion and I will continue to work at it."
In the women's javelin throw final, Anneke Germishuys produced a personal best heave of 53.10m with her second attempt.
Although the Hoerskool Tygerpoort pupil improved on her previous mark by more than a metre-and-a-half she had to settle for seventh place.
Meanwhile, Mpho Tladi and Levert Pieterse advanced to the semi-final of the 110m hurdles.
Tladi made light work of his heat clocking 13.53 seconds for first place while Pieterse clipped a few hurdles to finish his race in second place with 13.72 seconds.
The duo will be in action in the semi-final on Friday evening.
In the morning session Nicola de Bruyn qualified for 100m semi-final where she was eliminated in the evening finishing fourth with a time of 11.73 seconds.
Andre Marich drew a tough 400m semi-final where Jamaica’s Chris Taylor broke Usain Bolt's national record with a time of 45.30 seconds.
Marich finished in seventh place with a time of 48.34 seconds.
Ockert attended the IAAF World Youth Championships courtesy of the IAAF.
His accommodation was paid for by the Colombian athletics federation.