Young athletes make strides

Three young athletes are making a name for themselves at the IAAF World Youth Championships.

17 July 2017 | Sports

Determined Namibian sprinters Sade de Sousa (100m and 200m), Ivan Geldenhuys (400m), Theron Human (100m and 200m), and Ryan Williams (Discus), participated in the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Youth Championships in Kenya.

The championships for under-18 athletes were scheduled to take place between 12 and 16 July at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi.

De Sousa did not make it to the finals in the 100m race but was supposed to run the 200m race. Geldenhuys and Human (200m) runners were expected to run in the finals. Williams also made it to the discus finals.

Out of the four, only Geldenhuys will travel to the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games that will take place in the Bahamas from 19 to 23 July. He will be joined by other Namibian athletes Natalie Louw and Pikkie Smith.

The youth championships were the 10th and last edition of the biennial international athletics competition for youth athletes. In August 2016, the IAAF announced the end of the world youth championships in 2018, saying it did not create a pathway for the athletes at that stage of their career. SportWrap caught up with the stars to find out more about their sports careers.

Sade De Sousa (16)

Where do you attend school?

Windhoek Gymnasium Private School, doing my grade 10.

Plans after high school?

I am heading into the medical field to either study to become a neurosurgeon or a forensic scientist.

How do you juggle school and athletics?

Keeping up with both is very hard because if I go on tour, when I come back, the amount of work I would have missed is too much to catch up on. After school I have physiotherapy and then I go to practice. By the time I get home, I am drained.

How do you handle competition pressure?

Just before the race my nerves kick in. I immediately start hyperventilating. When that happens, I have to calm myself and focus. I tell myself: ‘Forget the person next to you, don’t run against the person next to you, run against yourself, run against the clock, focuses; then I run.

Are there other runners in your family?

My older brother Emmanuel de Sousa used to run as well but that was before he went to university. He stopped because he had to focus on school work. He hopes and plans to get back on the track next year.

Running gear; how expensive is it?

My mom spends more than N$10 000 a year. That included shoes, clothes, physiotherapy, coaching, muscle cream, kinetic tape, necessary supplements, and spikes.

Ivan Geldenhuys (15)

Where do you attend school?

Windhoek High School, I am in grade 10.

How do you handle competitive pressure?

I tell myself that I can do this because my talent is from God and he is there for me always.

How do you juggle school and athletics?

I give them both equal attention. But, I am more interested in running.

What are your plans after high school?

I want to focus on becoming a world champion and to work hard to have a comfortable life for myself.

What is your memorable event?

It is a competition I ran the fastest and my dad cried because he was proud of me.

Theron Human (16)

How do you juggle school and athletics?

In the morning I concentrate on my school work and in the afternoon I am an athlete.

How to you handle competitive pressure?

Jesus is always on my side and no matter how I run, I should always give it my best effort.

What are your plans after high school?

I aspire to go to the Olympic Games, become a world champion and inspire other Namibian youth.

Where do you attend school?

I am a grade 10 learner at Elnathan Private School.

How are you improving on your training in order to get faster?

I do more intensive training in the gym and on track my coach instructs me on what to do.

What is your memorable event?

July 12. I ran in the semi-finals at the IAAF under-18 championships.

Ryan Williams (17)

I am a grade 11 learner at Gobabis Gymnasium Private School

How to you handle competitive pressure?

Very well, I don’t fear anything.

How do you juggle school and athletics?

Time management is all we need.

What are your plans after high school?

I hope to obtain a scholarship to study sport management and to focus on athletics full time.

How are you improving on your training in order to get faster?

I practice a lot.I concentrate on the little things to perfect them.

What is your memorable event in discus?

The COSSASA Games this year. Four of my throws out of six turned out to be my personal best.

Limba Mupetami

Photos: Contributed

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