"I'm dedicating this to my late brother," Viwe Jingqi after scorching 100m & 200m junior records
Of all the thrilling performances dished up over three days of the the ASA U16 (Sub-Youth), U18 (Youth) and U20 (Junior) Track & Field National Championships at NWU Mc Arthur Athletics Stadium, it surely must be Viwe Jingqi who walks away with the athlete of meet title. That's because even though Emel Keyser equalled Mpho Tladi's U20 men's 110m hurdles six-year-old national junior record (13.49*), Jingqi broke three records in one day underlining her status as the next big thing in South African sprinting.
"It's all about consistency, believing in yourself and knowing what you want, and what your are doing here at the track," the 17-year old Athletics Gauteng North runner told journalists after setting a new SA U18 (youth) 100m record of 11.22 on the opening day of competition last Thursday. "My positive mindset has been the only thing that has been keeping me going from the heats up to the finals."
Having already represented the country at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi last year, the young lady who hails from the Eastern Cape eNgcobo is certainly not unknown. But in breaking both the 100m and Evette de Klerk's 40-year old U20 Women's 200m record of 23.30 by a whopping 0.27 seconds the TuksSport High School announced herself to the world.
But even though the messages of congratulation may be pouring from around the country, Jingqi's heart remains at home saying she does it all for her family."I'm dedicating this to my late brother. He is the one who is looking over me now. My parents are very supportive. Even today they told me that they are gonna makes sure that they watch me on YouTube because they couldn't come here, they are in the Eastern Cape and it's very far," said the Grade 12 learner who is coached by legendary former SA Sprinter Paul Gorries who himself was a gold medalist at the 2000 World U20 Champs.
In addition to Jingqi and Keyser's fabulous runs, there were a host of other world class efforts which show that the future of the country's athletics is in good hands. Danielle Verster won the double in the women's U20 800m and 1500m; Carise van Rooyen set a new record in the Girls U16 steeplechase; Naeem Jack (WPA) did well to set a national best of 12.47, earning a commanding victory in the U16 boys 100m hurdles final; while another SA best was set in the U16 girls shot put by Chris-Mari Nel (Boland Athletics) who landed the shot at 16.38m to win the final of her specialist event by nearly two metres.
Athletics South Africa (ASA) President James Moloi was pleased with the overall quality of the meet. “This has been an absolutely successful championship. It was amazing! Not even the rain on the last day could dampen the determination of the athletes who were really out to make it all special. We came to this championship with high expectations on performance and that is what was achieved. We are proud of all our 17 provinces, athletes, coaches, the host province, the Municipality of Potchefstroom and all others who made this event a success,” said Moloi.