Sprinter Benjamin Richardson claims SA's second medal at World Athletics U20 Champs
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CAPE TOWN - Sprint sensation Benjamin Richardson earned South Africa's second medal on Thursday's Day 2 of the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
Richardson, who lined up among the favourites after displaying great form in the heats and semifinals the day before, grabbed silver in the men's 100m final.
The 17-year-old South African crossed the line in 10.28 seconds, with Letsile Tebogo of Botswana snatching the gold medal in 10.19 and Shainer Montoya of Cuba taking bronze in 10.32.
“This is a big statement that Africa is coming up and very fast in sprints races. Taking the top two positions means there is huge potential in us the youngsters. My ambition is to start preps for the World Championships next year while also eyeing the Paris Games in 2024,” said Richardson.
Youth athlete Mckayla van der Westhuizen finished sixth in the women's javelin throw final with a best attempt of 53.94m. Adriana Vilagos of Serbia won gold with a massive 61.46m heave.
In the women's 3 000m final, Naledi Makgatha took eighth position in 9:55.08, with Kenyan athlete Teresiah Gateri securing victory in 8:57.78.
In the morning session, Christiaan Venter finished third in his 400m hurdles heat in 52.91, and Abednico Choba was fifth in his 800m heat in 1:50.20, booking their places in Saturday's semifinals.
Jada van Staden took third position in her 400m hurdles heat in 59.33, missing out on a spot in the final by just 0.01.
Aviwe Hoboloshe ended fifth in her 800m heat in 2:11.65 and she was eliminated ahead of the final.
Fellow middle-distance runners Zola Sokhela, eighth in his 1 500m heat in 4:03.70, and Keanu Domingo, 10th in his race in 4:06.19, were also knocked out ahead of the medal contest in their event.
“Congratulations to Benjamin and coach for the silver medal,” said James Moloi, the President of Athletics South Africa. “After the great work worth its weight in gold yesterday, the inspiration has rubbed off on Benjamin today. We trust that his silver medal will now inspire the other athletes who are still in the competition.
“We also congratulate the team management for the great work they are doing in making sure that our athletes are as comfortable as possible so that athletes can concentrate only on being the best at the competition.”
After two days of competition, the SA team is third in the overall table with two medals (one gold and one silver).