After Day 2 of ASA U16 (Sub-Youth), 18 (Youth), and U20 Junior T&F National Championships at NWU Mc Arthur Athletics Stadium, Potchefstroom on Friday 1 April, the following is what athletes said.
Naeem Jack: Boys U16 100m hurdles champion (12.47)
I broke a record in the heat, and I did it again in the final. I came here prepared, and I worked hard for the national title the whole year. I thank God and dedicate my gold to my coach and family. I want to improve and work hard every day. I am proud of my two records and want to represent my country in the Olympic Games in the future.
Emel Keyser: Boys Men U20 110m hurdles champion (13.58)
I broke a record in the heat yesterday and wanted to do it again. But I clipped the last hurdles and could not do it. But I am happy that I qualified for the World Junior Championships in Colombia. I will go back to training and work on my weaknesses. I am a homeboy and breaking another record messed my mind. I am going to the national championships in Cape Town to gain experience. I train here every day and I loved it when the crowd cheered for me.
Tumi Ramokgopa: Girls U16 90m hurdles (12.69)
I'm super excited and knew that I would win this race. I am happy to go home to Tshwane with a national title. I enjoyed the race and did not have competition here.
Danielle Verster: Women U20 1500m champion (04:26:60)
It was a good race, and I got tired and held out for the win. I won in front of my home crowd, and they cheered for me. I went hard from the beginning and never looked back. I enjoy the 1500m and can also win the 800m title. I wanted to win a gold medal at home, and I did it against a quality field.
Thapelo Ramakhoase: Men U20 1500m champion (03:51:42)
It was a tactical race and I won it because of my hard work. I planned this race and ran against fast guys. But I am not happy with my time, and I wanted to run a sub 3:50. The crowd gave me a push and I felt it. I must go back to training and work hard. I am happy to go back home a champion.
Janice Nell: Women U20 10 000m race walk champion (50:25:97)
I am happy with the time. I came here to qualify for the World Junior championships, and I achieved my goal. I am super excited that I’m going to Cali, Colombia. I’m 18 and still have one more year to go. Next year I am going for the national record. I put in more walking to prepare for this race. I am from Potchefstroom, and it felt good to compete in a local environment. It felt good to have people cheer me on and keep me in the zone. I am in Grade 12 and working on a scholarship to the United States next year. I am preparing for Colombia and am happy I qualified with 14 seconds.
Rual Kriel: Boys U16 Hammer throw champion (52.95m)
I had fun and it was an honour to throw against these athletes in Potch. It feels great to be a national champion and it warms my heart to win a gold medal. I am proud to be from the Free State and hope to be the best in this event in the future.
Sumari Rademeyer: Girls U18 Pole vault champion (3.20m)
I am excited and cannot believe I won the national title. It feels good because I did not expect to win the title. I won on a day that I did not give my best performance.
Mia Janse van Rensburg: Girls U18 High Jump champion (1.70m)
I am not happy with my performance as I did not reach the height of 1.75m, which is my personal best. Being a national champion has not sunk in yet. I dedicate the win to my family.
Elaine Pretorius: Women U20 Hammer Throw champion (56.03m)
I enjoyed myself and was happy with my throw. The feeling of being a national champion is fantastic. The next stop is the national senior championships in Cape Town where I want to test myself against the seniors.
Peace Adedokun: Men U20 triple jump champion (14.75m)
My goal coming here was to qualify for the World Junior Championships in Colombia, but unfortunately, it did not happen. But I still have two more competitions to try. I will go back to the drawing board and look at ways to improve. But I am grateful for the national title and hopefully I will still qualify for the World Championships. I needed to jump 15.55m, but I was too nervous and could not do it. I will try my luck at the ASA Athletics Grand Prix in Germiston and at the national senior championships.
Aidan Erasmus: Boys U16 Discuss (63.27)
I did not expect to get a gold medal and I dedicate my gold to my grandmother for always supporting me. I did not focus on others, and I focused on myself. I have shot put tomorrow and want to go home with two gold medals.
Tian Stoltz: Boys U18 Discuss champion (61.47)
We worked hard in the past few months, and it paid off. I won the shot put and discus gold medals and am happy with what I achieved. I am optimistic about the future and my dream is to represent my country at the Olympic Games. I dedicate my medals to my coach, my father and grandmother for giving me the best food to build my body.
Amone Le Roux: Girls U18 triple jump champion (11.67m)
I am excited to be a champion and the level of competition was on another level. I learnt a lot at the championships.
Merinda Cronje: Girls U18 Javelin champion (46.20m)
I thank God for helping me win the gold medal. I am proud of myself and deserve to be a champion.
Janson Bowers: Men U20 5000m champion (14:56:79)
I trained for four weeks to win this race and I’m not fit. I struggled at the beginning of the year with an injury. I did not expect to win this race. My idols in the 5000m are Elroy Gelant and Stephen Mokoka.