Youth Olympics Preview


The South African track and field team will kick off their campaign at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aries, Argentina, on Thursday October 11 2018. Here pictured is the current SA U18 triple jump champion Sifiso Miya who will look to continue his consistent performances, at the Youth Olympics. Photo by Keagan Mitchell


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With just a few months left before Christmas, the South African U18 track and field team will look to bring home the perfect gift, by producing medal performances, at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aries, Argentina. They (SA athletics team) will start their campaign on Thursday October 11 2018 and will be joined by 18 other sporting codes includes: aquatics (swimming and diving), hockey, tennis, golf, rugby sevens and hockey to name a few.


The 16-member SA track and field team that includes eight boys and girls will hope for an improved performance in Argentina after only securing one gold medal through 400m hurdler Gezelle Magerman in the previous edition of the Youth Olympics, in Nanjing, in China. However, this group of U18 athletes have excelled in 2018 with eight of them ranked in the top 10 on the International Association of Athletics (IAAF) rankings while 11 of them were crowned champions in their respective events, at the African Youth Games, in Algeria, earlier this year. While two of them (Luke Davids and Lindukuhle Gora) represented SA at last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games, in Nassau, in the Bahamas.


Team SA will be spearheaded by current African Youth Games 400m hurdles champion Lindukuhle Gora who has been in fine form this season. Although he only finished in second place at the Athletics South Africa (ASA) youth and junior champions, he went on to take gold at the CAA Southern Region youth and junior championships and the African Youth Games.  His teammate at the Mbhereko training group in Gauteng and 17-year-old prodigy Gontse Morake who holds the national U18 400m hurdles and triple jump records of 57.81 seconds and 13.10m, will do battle in the triple jump event.


Western Province Athletics sprint sensation Luke Davids has had one of his best track and field seasons this year will look to end it on a high at the Youth Olympic Games. Davids who has a personal best of 10.31 seconds in the 100m sprints should bag a medal if he runs anywhere close to this time. Despite only taking second place in the triple jump event at the African Youth Games, Athletics Gauteng North’s Sifiso Miya will look to go one step better at the Youth Olympics.  Miya has been improving at every competition that he has taken part in this year. From jumping 15.02m at the ASA youth and junior championships, to 15.46m at the CAA youth and junior championships, to a personal best of 15.57m in Algeria, this youngster will look to end off his international season in fine style.


Athletics North West North’s Jano Esterhuizen dominated the ASA and CAA youth and junior championships and the African Youth Games by claiming the gold medal in the boys’ under-18 javelin event. He will now look to do the same at his first international competition.      

Other athletes one can watch out for is Kayla van der Bergh who is the African Youth Games 100m hurdles champion, African Youth Games pole vault champion Nikolai van Huysteen who will take part in the pole vault event and shot-put duo Dane Roets and Lohan Potgieter who are the current SA champions.


Written by Keagan Mitchell