Raising the bar

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July 17, 2017
Raising the bar

IDOL: Wayde van Niekerk, Breyton

Cape boy clinches gold at Under-18 World Champs.

There must be something special in our water, because Cape Town has just delivered yet another world champion.
Joining the ranks of Wayde van Niekerk, high jumper Breyton Poole, 17, from Strand  secured a gold medal by clearing 2.24m on his final attempt at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Under-18 World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

He already won his event in the sixth round with a jump of 2.16m, but went for a personal best.

He fell just one centimetre short of beating the South African youth record, currently held by Jacques Freitag.

The 1.72m boytjie also beat silver medallist Chima Ihentu of Germany by a whopping 10cm.

The youngster is now ranked 17th on the all-time Under-18 list with 2.24m.

“This feels unbelievable. I was a bit nervous when I started. It’s really amazing, I cannot explain this feeling,” the excited teen said shortly after his incredible win.

“I didn’t expect this at all, my goal was to beat my personal best and win my category, but now it’s become history.”

The Grade 11 learner from Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch says his hero is Olympic gold medallist Wayde, from Kraaifontein.

“I play rugby and played it at national level too. I started doing high jump at the age of ten and really hope to pursue a professional career in athletics,” says Breyton.

“My long-term goal now is to keep myself injury-free. Wayde van Niekerk is truly my inspiration.”

Proud uncle, Donovan Poole, says the whole family gathered to watch as his nephew made history.

“We are so happy and excited all in one and this mood will remain forever. My voice is gone from all the shouting,” says Donovan.

“We have always been supporting him. His mother usually has fundraising events like selling vetkoek, burgers, worsrolletjies, and we all supported.

“And as he was raised, he knows he has to work hard for what he wants and see what he has achieved.”

He says on Friday, he gave his nephew a pep talk.

“I encouraged him to just enjoy himself and do his best.

“Breyton and the family returns home this week and we are ecstatic to see our champ,” he adds.

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