Central Gauteng Athletics proudly hosted the first-ever track and field event since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first meeting of its kind to be held with no spectators (following strict safety protocols as per ASA and Government COVID-19 regulations). CGA Track and Field Commission, including athletes, technical officials, stadium workers, medical team, and CGA staff did not disappoint to produce the best event in history over this past Saturday, 14 November 2020.
After all participants adhered to the strict safety protocols of COVID-19, a long-awaited moment commenced with the boys U17 battling it out in the 3,000m event. Johannes Morepe, born in Limpopo Province, appeared on the scene in the last 600m leading the pack with over a lap to his victory of 08:50.46.
Among the favourite race of the day was the Senior women 3,000m event which was combined with the U19 girls which were considered to be an exciting event. Gene Coetzee took command of the race after the second lap, followed by the senior women, Joubert Cornelia who was running steadily to close a gap of 100m from her rival. Coetzee proved to be the better runner, ending the race in a time of 10:15.5. Immediately after her victory, she took off her new running shoes claiming that they were tight and hurting badly and had to walk barefoot. In the post-interview, Coetzee said, “l have been training hard and doing a lot of strength work and the results are paying off. Today’s victory is just a test towards the preparations for 2021 ASA Cross Country Trials in January 2021”.
Flooks Heinrich of Kempton Park Athletics Club sprinted alone over a distance of 110m Hurdles in the Boys U19 category. He was running drawing strength from his full-length arms with his face determined to clock under 15.00 seconds. Fortunately, he crossed the finish line in 14.43, which is a good time considering his preparation for 2021 U20 World Championships to be held in Nairobi, Kenya.
A Junior athlete who has already been named in the 2021 U20 World Championships squad, Mvuyo Moss, joined the Boys U19 in the 100m event. He proved to be the rising star across the province with his 100m performance in the time of 10.72.
Field events were going to be a challenge considering with protocols that after every athlete’s attempt, the equipment had to be sanitized. This critical protocol in fighting the spread of COVID-19 did not discourage the athletes as Zonica Lindeque improved her PB in shotput event (3kg) with a distance of 16.61m.
The last event of the day was the High Jump senior women event, where UJ training partners, Julia Du Plessis and Mariette Botha opposed each other to get on top of the bar. Julia Du Plessis, who recently recovered from throat cancer had 7 attempts to finish second in the height of 1.55m. On 8th attempt, Botha excelled with a great technique to overcome her rivals to finish on top in the height of 1.60m.
CGA Track and Field Chairperson, Maggie Dicks, said this meeting was merely to assist athletes who haven’t qualify for various National Teams and also to assist athletes in the Olympic Squad to prepare. “l must say most of our athletes and coaches complied with the COVID-19 rules and protocols put in place, including the registration process for coaches to try and keep to numbers given by the government for safe returning to athletics competitions. Overall, we are glad that the event went well”.
Looking forward to seeing you again on the 5 December 2020 at Boksburg Stadium.