Some of Africa's most talented young athletes will converge on the Boksburg Athletics Stadium, Johannesburg this week to chase titles and gain valuable international experience at the CAA Southern Region U18 Youth & U20 Junior Championships on Friday and Saturday 27-28 April.
While they are expected to receive some stiff opposition from neighbouring countries, the South African team will turn out as favourites as they target top spot in the medals table.
They will be led by sprinter Retshidisitswe Mlenga, high jumper Breyton Poole, and 400m Hurdles prospects Soks Zazini and Zeney van der Walt, who all won titles at the IAAF World U-18 Youth Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last year.
They will be joined in the Junior U20 division by speedster Thando Dlodlo and Shot Put star Kayle Blignaut, who have both broken SA records this season (not yet ratified).
The SA U18 contingent will feature the likes of versatile hurdler Gontse Morake, sprinter Luke Davids, who won the double in the 100m and 200m, Jayson Weber, who is the new 400m champion, who have also been in record-breaking form on the domestic circuit this year.
The host nation's strongest opposition is expected to come from a typically strong Zimbabwean team and a formidable contingent from Botswana, which features the likes of high jumper Aobakwe Nkobela and hurdler Mooketsi Montshiwa who both earned medals at the African U20 Championships in Tlemcen, Algeria last year.
A total of 11 countries will be represented at the regional age group Championship including Mauritius, Lesotho, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Seychelles, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The programme on Friday will run from 8.30am to 4.20pm, with the programme on Saturday starting at 8.30am and ending at 3.10pm.
“The SA future stars will be displaying their talent this weekend at home again against their regional counterparts in Boksburg. Athletes preparing to represent SA at the forthcoming IAAF World Junior Championships on 10-14 July 2018 at Tampere, Finland, will showcase their level of preparedness.
“I am sure that a number of regional records and national if not continental records will be broken by athletes from across the region, including ours. We look forward to defend our flag against the strong invasion by all countries.
“We want to thank the coaches and athletes alike for continuing to train hard and staying focused after the ASA U18 Youth & u20 Junior Championships,” said Skhosana.
Issued By ASA
Photo By Roger Sedres