JOHANNESBURG – South Africa has a Youth Olympic Games 100m champion after Luke Davids sprinted to gold in Buenos Aires on Monday evening.
The Parow High School learner won both stages of the blue riband event, posting a wind-aided winning time of 10.15 seconds in his final race.
His performance gave South Africa its fifth medal and third gold of the Youth Games which is an improvement from Nanjing 2014 when South Africa returned with one gold medal courtesy of Gezelle Magerman’s 400m hurdles winning performance.
Davids won the first stage clocking 10.56 which was 0.20s faster than his nearest rival, before dashing over the line in 10.15 with a 3.4-metre second wind blowing from behind.
“The feeling of being the fastest young man in the world and being No.1 is amazing,” Davids told the Youth Olympics website. “I’ve been dreaming of this moment for months now. The spectators were incredible.
“The support they give you on the track, in the warm-up and at all times is sensational. People from Argentina seem as if they were from South Africa because of their kindness and, for that reason, I felt at home.”
Davids is the second youth athlete in a year to win a major youth 100m title after Tshenolo Lemao won the gold medal at the Under-18 World Championships in Nairobi last year.
The country has experienced a sprint revolution since the 2012 Olympic Games when Anaso Jobodwana made the men’s 200m final.
Five South African sprinters have dipped below the magical 10-second mark since former national 100m record-holder Simon Magakwe broke the mould in 2014.
“I am very different,” Davids said when asked about comparisons with Jamaican sprinting icon Usain Bolt. “He (Bolt) is not me and I am not him. We have different personalities. I try to focus on my goal and what I have to do. I do not think much about comparing myself to him.”
Dané Roets added to South Africa’s medal tally on Monday when she won the women’s shot put bronze medal.
The Hoërskool Noordheuwel pupil won the bronze courtesy of her combined effort of 34.61m.
She made a top throw of 17.30m in the first stage before improving on that mark with a 17.34m heave in the second stage to claim a podium place.
SA medals at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games
Amber Schlebusch (women’s triathlon)
Michael Houlie (men’s 50m breaststroke)
Luke Davids (men’s 100m)
Duné Coetzee (women’s 200m butterfly)
Dané Roets (women’s shot put)