Shanley sets National Youth Record
The country's top elite prospects battled strong winds on Friday, as the ASA Junior and Youth Championships got under way at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.
Shanley Koekemoer got the annual showpiece off to a spectacular start by setting a national best in the Youth Girls' 2 000m Steeplechase in the second track event of the morning.
In a hard-fought battle against Cara du Preez and Lethabo Makgoga, Koekemoer won the five-lap race in 6:42.68.
Du Preez settled for second place in 6:45.17, with Makgoga edged into third spot in 6:45.89.
Later, in cool conditions of the evening track session, Thembo Monareng charged to victory in the Junior Men's 100m final.
In the absence of defending champion Gift Leotlela and 200m star Clarence Munyai, who are both set to focus on the half-lap distance on Saturday, Monareng won the highly anticipated contest in 10.52 seconds.
"It was very windy but it was a great race and I took it as it came. I'm happy with the time in this wind," Monareng said.
Gauteng North teammate Sokwakhana Zazini also displayed good form, slicing through the conditions to win the Youth Boys' 400m race in 47.67.
"It's bad in this wind because you can't plan your race properly. You have to adapt to it," Zazini said. "My coach (Hennie Kriel) said I shouldn't worry about the time, I should just go and win the race."