The 2014 IAAF world junior championship started yesterday the 22nd of July. KZNA have 2 athletes taking part in this event, and both were in action on day 1. Gena Lofstrand finished 6th in her 800m heat, but her time was good enough to secure her a spot in the semi-finals. Sonwabiso Skhosana took part in the 400m but was just pipped into 4th place in his heat, eliminating him from the competition.
Gena will be in action again today when the 800m semi-finals start at 22H00 our local time. If you are fortunate enough to have DSTV, the event is shown on SUPERSPORT 2 from 18H50. Sonwabiso will now focus on the 4 X 400m relay scheduled for later this week.
As a precursor to this weekend’s coaching clinic, there is a pre-season track & field event scheduled for Friday evening the 24th of July hosted at Kingspark in Durban. This is a fun event open to ALL ages, so whether you are 7 or 70 years of age, you are welcome to participate. The event starts at 17H30 and finishes at about 22H00.
The annual track & field coaching clinic hosted by CKS athletics will again be taking place at Port Natal school on Saturday the 26th of July. It is a one day event where anyone with an interest in athletics are welcome to attend. So whether you are a coach, teacher, parent, volunteer or an athlete this event is for you! The event officially starts at 09H00, but everyone is encouraged to try and register by 08H30 to allow for a smooth start to the day’s activities.
The registration fee is R60 for adults and R25 for scholars and is payable on arrival at the event. Scholars & athletes are encouraged to dress for the occasion as many of the demonstrations will involve some practical activities. There are safe parking at the school and a tuckshop will be open to buy any refreshments.
The athletics world was treated to some excellent performances on Friday the 18th of July during the Monaco Diamond league. Four athletes recorded world leading times for 2014 and the 1500m for men saw a world record attempt missed by a whisker. Johan Cronje (men 1500m) and Wenda Nel were the only South Africans in action at the event.
Gena Lofstrand and Sonwabiso Skhosana will be leaving for Oregan in the USA on the 17th of July to represent South Africa at the 2014 IAAF World junior Championship. This is a rich reward for these two exceptional and hard-working athletes hailing from our province. Gena will be competing in the girls 800m event whilst Sonwabiso will be in action in both the 400m individual event and the 4 X 400m relay.
Sonwabiso is currently ranked joint 10th on the IAAF ranking list in the 400m with a personal best of 46.11. Gena had a very tough season behind her with some unfortunate injury woes that prevented her from defending both her national junior and senior titles in the 800m this season. Despite the injuries she made it into the SA squad where her 2014 season’s best (2:05.26) ranks her 22nd on the latest IAAF rankings.
Both athletes are members of the Fast Feet athletics club, based at Kingspark in Durban, and both are coached by Vic Vaz.
Gena and Sonwabiso are both products of the KZNA elite squad initiated by the president Sello Mokoena in 2013. The elite squad is a joint initiative between KZN athletics, KZN department of Sport and Prime High Performance who are based at Moses Mabhida stadium. Prime HPC allowed these athletes access to world-class facilities like the altitude chamber and medical support personnel.
KZN Athletics wishes both athletes all the best for their respective events and we will all be keeping an eye on their performances.
Gena will be in action as follows:
22 July 800m heats – 21:15 SA time
23 July 800m semi’s – 21:55 SA time
25 July 800m final – 05:00 SA time
Sonwabiso will be in action as follows:
23 July 400m heats – 02:35 SA time
24 July 400m semi’s – 03:45 SA time
25 July 800m final – 05:00 SA time
The event will be televised on Supersport 2 from 18H50 from the 22nd of July