CAPE TOWN – South Africa has another new world under-18 athletics champion!
Just a few days after sprinter Tshenolo Lemao took gold in the boys’ 100m, high jumper Breyton Poole grabbed first place on Saturday morning at the IAAF Under-18 World Championships in Nairobi.
The 17-year-old Poole, who attends Paul Roos Gymnasium, leaped to a new personal best of 2.24m to clinch top spot, a whopping 10cm clear of silver medallist Chima Ihenetu of Germany.
Ukraine’s Vladyslav Lavskyy also set a new PB of 2.11m to take the bronze.
But it was all about Poole, who won the event in the sixth round already with a jump of 2.16m.
He then set the bar beyond his personal best of 2.18m, clearing 2.20m at his second attempt.
But Poole wasn’t done yet – he produced an effort of 2.22m with his next jump, and although he hit the bar with two attempts at 2.24m, he eventually conquered that height third time round.
Cuban Javier Sotomayor’s incredible Under-18 world record of 2.33m was out of reach, but Poole took aim at Jacques Freitag’s South African and African mark of 2.25m by setting the bar at 2.27m.
It was not to be as Poole failed at all three attempts, but nevertheless, the youngster had the gold medal and is now ranked 17th on the all-time Under-18 list with 2.24m.
He also participated at the SA senior championships in Potchefstroom in April, finishing just out of the medals on a count-back in fourth position with 2.15m. Chris Moleya took gold with a 2.25m effort.
South Africa now have five medals at the championships – where USA and Great Britain decided not to participate – with two gold, two silver and a bronze.