finding top gear
Twenty-five junior athletes will undergo an intensive five-day training camp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria in their final preparations for the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Bydgoczsz, Poland, next month.
The camp runs from June 30 to July 5, with the championships in Poland starting from July 8 to 13.
The Poland-bound squad, made up of 16 boys and nine girls, was named by Athletics South Africa (ASA) in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning.
It comprises athletes who won the Southern Region Junior Championships in Harare, Zimbabwe, last weekend.
Fourteen of the team's members are ranked in the top 10 on the 2008 IAAF junior world list and should be among the favourites to win medals in Poland.
The athletes include Victor Hogan in the discus, Orazio Cremona (shot put), Marcoleen Pretorius (high jump), Stefan Brits (long jump) and Dumisane Hlaselo (1 500m).
Boipelo Motlhathlego, Johannes Mosala, Andre Olivier and Nombulelo Mkenku are also motivated going to Poland after their magnificent display in Harare.
"ASA is happy with the selected team and we are confident that the athletes will do well. The athletes have shown a lot of determination and ability and I'm convinced they win medals in Poland. This team is the nucleus of the 2012 Olympics," said Leonard Chuene, ASA's president.
Men - Wilhelm van der Vyver (Boland - 100m, 4x100m); Roscoe Engel (Western Province - 100m, 4x100m); Patrick Vosloo (Vaal Triangle - 200m, 4x100m); Olivier (Central North West - 800m, 4x400m); Raaghid Fredericks (Boland - 800m, 4x400m); Hlaselo (Athletics Free State - 1500m); Pieter Beneke (Athletics Free State - 400m hurdles, 4x400m); Cornel Fredericks (Boland - 400m hurdles, 4x400m); Brits (Central Gauteng - long jump, 4x100m); Riaan Arendse (Central Gauteng - long jump, triple jump, 4x100m); Motlhathlego (Gauteng North - triple jump, 4x100m); Cheyne Rahme (Central Gauteng - pole vault); Willem Voigth (South Western Districts - high jump); Cremona (Central Gauteng - shot put); Hogan (Free State - discus); Mosala (Free State - 4x100m)
Women - Mkenku (Free State - 100m, 200m, 4x100m); Eliminette Beckmann (Free State - 100m hurdles, 4x100m); Claudia Viljoen (Gauteng North - 100m hurdles, 4x100m); Caster Semenya (Limpopo - 800m); Pretorius (ACNW - high jump); Tazmin Brits (Athletics Central North West - javelin); Celeste Rietels (Boland - 4x100m); Alyssa Conley (Central Gauteng - 4x100m); Christie Coetzee (Central North West - 4x100m, long jump).