The Elite Athletics season has come to an end, with our two sprint stars, Kgoputso Manaleng and Mukona “Smiley” Manavhela, both rounding off what has been an outstanding few months with 1st places and personal best times in the final meeting.
Kgoputso (right in the picture) won the U14 100m hurdles at the Potch meeting in 12.97 seconds, going below 13 seconds for the 1st time, and putting him in sight of the South African U15 record of 12,47. He won all the U14 100m hurdle races he ran in, the only time that he was beaten +
was when he had to run with the U15s. He also runs the 100m flat and won that a couple of times.
“I’m happy with my performance in the hurdles,” he said. “My time came down in every race and I’m ready for the club inter-provincial season which starts in the new year. I’m hoping to do get to the SA champs in the 100m hurdles and from next year we’ll be looking at the 300m hurdles too.”
Smiley posted personal best times in both the 100m and 200m (10.7 and 22.09) at the final meeting. He won most of his 100m races throughout the season and came 2nd in that 200m PB performance.
“It’s been a good pre-season,” Smiley said. “We will carry on training now and there are some club meetings still, but I’m looking forward to next year.”
Both boys are coached by Tannie Elise, who has a long association with Jeppe athletics, at Germiston Callies club.
They are both at Jeppe on rugby bursaries, and have both been performing in that sport too. Kgoputso played wing for the U14A team and was their top try-scorer, with 19 tries. Smiley played fullback for the U15As and was joint top try-scorer there too.
There are big sporting futures ahead for these two.