Jordaan leads SA juniors on opening day
Lezaan Jordaan, still a youth athlete, finished ninth overall and produced a personal best in the women’s shot put final on the opening day of the World Junior Athletics Championships in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday.
Jordaan, 16, set a career record in the qualifying rounds in the morning with a 15.27 metres effort.
She went even better in the opening round of the final, launching the shot 15.37m, to spearhead South Africa’s performance on the first day of the championships.
German athlete Shanice Craft won gold with a distance of 17.15m, while China’s Yang Gao and Ka Bian secured silver and bronze.
Jordaan could be one of South Africa’s best prospects at the 2014 global junior championships in Eugene, Oregon, as she will still be eligible to compete in the age group competition.
Meanwhile, Gerhard de Beer qualified for the final of the men’s discus throw after finishing second in his group.
De Beer opened with a foul but followed it up with distances of 56.74m and 59.01m to progress.
Jan-Louw Kotze failed to qualify for the final, with his best attempt in the second round measured at 55.59m, placing him ninth in his group.
Pieter Conradie was the only South African to reach the semi-finals in the men’s 400 metres after finishing just behind Aldrich Bailey of the United States in his heat.
Bailey won the race in 46.40 seconds, with Conradie crossing the line in 46.70.
Ruan Greyling’s 47.65 performance was good enough for third place in his heat behind Australian Jarryd Buchan and Alphas Leken Kishoyian from Kenya, but he narrowly missed out on progressing as one of the ’fastest losers’.
Duwayne Boer and Mpho Maphuta were unable to book themselves a place in the final of the men’s long jump, with Boer leaping 7.22m in the qualifying rounds and Maphuta failing to record a distance.
Philippa van der Merwe and Nabeela Parker also fell short in the women’s 100m heats.
Both athletes finished fifth in their respective heats, with Van der Merwe clocking 12.03 and Parker crossing the line in 12.21.