Seen here (from left to right): Olwetu Mpanza and Vuyo Ndlovu from High School Rob Ferreira in action during the Boys U19 100m. Vuyo Ndlovu claimed gold in 10.71.
Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg
Residents of Mbombela were treated to a track and field extravaganza like no other when South Africa’s most exciting school’s athletics “talent identification programme”, the PUMA School of Speed made its Mbombela debut at the Nelspruit High School’s Athletics Track on Saturday 08 February 2020.
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.
The Boys and Girls U19 400m was dominated by athletes from High School Rob Ferreira in White River.
Monshe Lentoro claimed victory in the Boys U19 400m in a deserving time of 0:51.24. “The PUMA School of Speed is a great Meet,” says Lentoro. “The competition is really good. It means a lot to come first today. I’d like to tell other athletes to continue working hard. Even if you have talent, work hard because there are other athletes who want what you have.” Henko de Nysschen came in 2nd, while Siphesihle Mashele finished 3rd.
Charlize Batista secured gold in the Girls U19 400m in a time of 01:07.53. “The PUMA School of Speed is cool,” says a very happy Batista. “It’s a nice event. I enjoyed it a lot. I entered because I wanted to try something new. It means a lot to come first. My advice to other athletes is to always run your own race.” Tara Haycock came in 2nd, while H Stevens finished 3rd.
After finishing second in the 100m, Bandile Mabuza from Lowveld High School (Nelspruit) threw down the gauntlet in the Boys U19 200m securing the top spot on the podium in 22.80. “This is my first time experiencing the PUMA School of Speed. The event has inspired me to go further. Coming first is an amazing experience especially in a big meeting like this. I’d like other athletes to know that the way to the top may not be easy, but the view from the top is the best.” Sibongkonko Sibeko came in 2nd, while Zander van der Merwe finished 3rd.
Zeney Jonker from HTS Ligbron (Ermelo) was the athlete to beat in the Girls U19 200m crossing the finish line in 26.60. “The event, the prizes and the energy at the PUMA School of Speed is very cool. It’s a very nice event. This is the first time that I finish first against big schools. I hope to take part again.” Kyla Labuschagne came in 2nd, while Tayla Kotzee finished 3rd.
High School Rob Ferreira claimed another gold this time in the Boys U19 100m when Vuyo Ndlovu crossed the finish line first in 10.71. “I’ve always looked up to athletes like the great Bolt and Luke Davids. They inspired me to take part. The PUMA School of Speed is a good event. It gives athletes the opportunity to be stars. It feels great to finish first. I am looking forward to the season.” Bandile Mabuza came in 2nd, while Olwetu Mpanza finished 3rd.
Zeney Jonker claimed her second victory of the day, this time in the Girls U19 100m with an impressive time of 12.80. “It feels very good to claim gold twice, but I am very tired now. My advice to athletes taking on the 100m and 200m is to start good, do your best and work hard.” Suzaan Nel came in 2nd, while Kyla Labuschagne finished 3rd.
“Track and field #FutureStars delivered a sensational display of talent and sportsmanship in Mbombela today,” says PUMA Marketing Director Brett Bellinger. “Competition was rife, with #FutureStars pulling out all the stops. The 2020 Series has been action packed. We look forward to closing it off on a high note at the Bestmed TuksAthletics Stadium (Pretoria) on Saturday 29 February 2020 at the PUMA School of Speed #5.”
Live Entertainment: Award-winning musician Kyle Deutsch had athletes and spectators dancing along to a LIVE performance that included his hit single ‘Can’t Get Enough’.
NEXT UP: 2020 PUMA School of Speed Series
|Event, Date & Venue:||PUMA School of Speed #5
Date: Saturday 29 February 2020
Venue: Bestmed Tuks Athletics Stadium (Pretoria)
Start Time: 11:20
|Entry Fee: Athletes||NO COST to enter the event
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, Field (throw) Events, Long Hurdles, 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.
Vice Principal’s Message: Junior track & field stars can look forward to meeting South African middle-distance runner and 2020 PUMA School of Speed Vice Principal, Gena Löfstrand in the Vice Principal’s office at each stadium.
According to Löfstrand the PUMA School of Speed Series has been extremely important for South African athletics. “The Series brings together athletics fans, and future champions from all over our country,” says Löfstrand. “It gives athletes the opportunity to showcase their talent at a well-supported, world class event. It’s something for young athletes to set goals for and work hard towards. The atmosphere at the PUMA School of Speed is what makes it so special. It’s fun, exciting, and inspiring. It’s events like this that keep athletics alive! I’m proud to be working alongside PUMA to help grow athletics in South Africa.”
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