Seen here (in the centre): Mark Gaines (Morningside) was the speedster to beat in the PUMA School of Speed #3 Boy’s U19 100m. Gains crossed the finish line in a deserving time of 10.88 seconds.
Photo Credit: Rogan Ward
The Kings Park Athletics Stadium was buzzing with excitement on Saturday, 09 February 2019 when 720 junior track & field stars attempted to go #ForeverFaster at the PUMA School of Speed #3 following in the footsteps of the World’s Fastest Man Usain Bolt.
Launched in November 2016 by PUMA and Stillwater Sports, the series is committed to the development of athletics talent in South Africa by discovering the fastest young Speedsters.
Mark Gaines (Morningside) was the speedster to beat in the Boy’s U19 100m. Gains crossed the finish line in a deserving time of 10.88 seconds. “This is one of the best events in KZN. It’s prestigious and gives athletes the opportunity to compete on a high level. It’s a really good thing to do for the youth. This year I entered to focus on my training, I didn’t expect to do well. My focus is on my technique and on how to improve. Coming first in the final is a bonus. It’ll motivate me for the rest of the season. My advice to athletes is to work hard. If you want the achievement you have to work towards it. There is no other way.” Morne Hattingh came in 2nd, while Thomas Xolo finish 3rd.
It was a clean sweep for Jessica Bompass (Pietermaritzburg) in the Girl’s U19 100m (finishing time of 12.43 seconds) and Girl’s U19 200m (finishing time 25.18 seconds).
“I really enjoy the PUMA School of Speed Series,” said Bompass. “It’s a fun way to compete with people around the country. I really enjoy the 100m and 200m. The 200m is my favorite. Coming first in the finals brings a great amount of joy to me as my hard work has paid off. It’s a great honor.”
In the Girl’s U19 100m Snethemba Ngema came in 2nd, while Akhona Mathonsi finished 3rd.
In the Girl’s U19 200m Snethemba Ngema came in 2nd, while Thembelihle Dubazane finished 3rd.
Thomas Xolo (Umlazi, Durban) bolted to the finish in the Boys U19 200m in an impressive time of 22.38 seconds. “The PUMA School of Speed is a great place for opportunity to grow, a great place for talent to be recognized and also a great experience for runners. I got a bronze medal in 2016 in the 200m. Ever since that day I promised myself that I would get gold. Every day when I wake up and go for my morning jog I tell my coach that I’m going for that gold. Today I got it.” Morne Hattingh came in 2nd, while JD Prinsloo finished 3rd.
JD Prinsloo took top honors in the Boys U19 400m in 49.23 seconds. Siphesihle Shongwe came in 2nd, while Lesedi Goge finished 3rd.
Kirsten Ahrens crossed the finish line first in the Girls U19 400m in 56.28 seconds. Nicole Faulha came in 2nd, while Sithembiso Nkwanyana finished 3rd.
Message from the Vice Principal: Junior track & field stars could meet South African middle-distance runner and 2019 PUMA School of Speed Vice Principal, Gena Löfstrand in the Vice Principal’s office at the stadium.
“The events are well organized, well supported and super exciting to be a part of,” said Löfstrand. “The PUMA School of Speed Series is a great platform for up and coming athletes to showcase their talent and all the hard work they’ve put into their sport. It gives athletes something to work for and something to look forward to, a reason to pursue athletics.”
PUMA ambassador and South African Paralympic shot-putter, Tyrone Pillay (Durban) also showed his support at the PUMA School of Speed #3 at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium.
“I’ve been part of the PUMA team since 2013,” says Pillay. “The PUMA School of Speed Series is a great initiative that is definitely needed to help identify South Africa’s young talent. I expect some great talent to be unearthed from this event. My advice to juniors is to always believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams.”
Pillay’s impressive list of accolades include South Africa record holder and African record holder, gold medalist at the All-Africa Games 2015 and bronze medalist at the Rio Paralympics 2016.
LIVE Entertainment: During the break athletes and spectators enjoyed a live performance by KwaZulu–Natal born musician Holley Rey.
NEXT UP: PUMA School of Speed 2019
Headed by the World’s Fastest Man Usain Bolt, the PUMA School of Speed Series was launched in 2016 with the goal of identifying exceptional young South African athletes who believe that their future is #ForeverFaster. Junior track & field stars between the ages of 14-19 can follow in the footsteps of Usain Bolt.
|Event: PUMA School of Speed #4||Saturday, 02 March 2019 / LC de Villiers Sportsground (Pretoria)|
|Event: PUMA School of Speed #5||Wednesday, 13 March 2019 / Puk McArthur Stadium (Potchefstroom)|
|Entry Fee: Athletes||No Cost to enter the event|
|Enter Online: www.schoolofspeed.com|
|Please Note: Athlete entries close two days prior to each event.|
|Entry Fee: Spectators||R20 / adults
R10 / children
|Pay as you enter the stadium.|
|Events:||100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, Long Jump, High Jump, 100m Hurdles (Boys 15, Girls 17 & 19 only), 90m Hurdles (Girls 15 only) and 90m Hurdles (Girls 15 only) and 110m Hurdles (Boys 17 & 19 only)|
|Age Categories:||U15, U17 and U19|
All entrants will stand a chance to be scouted and contracted to the PUMA Squad. The contract will be for the duration of one calendar year.
Podium winners of each event final will win the following:
- 1st Place – PUMA School of Speed Tee, PUMA peak cap & category medal.
- 2nd Place – PUMA School of Speed Tee, PUMA drawstring bag & category medal.
- 3rd Place – PUMA School of Speed Tee & category medal.
The APE/ASA table will be used to determine the top 3 overall male and female athletes.
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Issued by: NEWSPORT MEDIA