Star sprinter eyes national glory

KEAGAN MITCHELL

The day started on a low for the youngster, as he was disqualified for false starting in the boys’ under-16 400m.

However, he bounced back strongly to finish third in the 100m sprint before setting a new personal best of 21.40 seconds to win a gold medal in the 200m.

It was the first time the youngster was beaten this season and he is now closer to his dream of becoming a South African champion, when he takes part in the national high school’s championships, in Bloemfontein, this weekend.

Jayson, a Grade 9 pupil at Brackenfell High School, started the year with a bang at last month’s school athletics meet, when he set Villiersdorp alight to take the gold medal in the 200m, in a time of 21.70 seconds.

He continued his fine form when he set a new personal best of 49.33 seconds, in the 400m, at the Northern Zone Championships, last month, at the Green Point track.

Last weekend he showed why he is the king of the track when he breezed his way to first position, in the boys’ under-16 100m, 200m and 400m, to be crowned triple champion, at the Western Province championships, at Vygieskraal Stadium, in Athlone.

The Bellville Athletics Club athlete said it was a great feeling to be crowned the triple WP champion.

“The competition was not too bad, but I felt exhausted. In the 400m I didn’t run for a new personal best time but simply to win the race. I was a bit nervous for the 100m because I knew I had competition. In the 200m I felt much more relaxed yet exhausted, by the time I got to the 400m I knew I was one step away of doing the triple,” he said.

The lanky sprinter’s time at the WP champs in the boys’ under-16 100m, 200m and 400m was enough to see him qualify for club nationals, in Germiston, in Johannesburg, later this month. This means he will be running at the school and club national championships.

“To be a part of two national competitions is a dream come true. I will hope to set a new personal best at the national championships

“I am blessed of what I have achieved thus far but I still have a long way to go,” he said.

He is no stranger to the national competitions as he came fifth and third in the boys’ under-16 100m and 200m respectively at last year’s South African club championships with his main ambition to finish as the national champion.

Jayson, a former Boston Primary School pupil, competed at his first national competition in 2013 but believes 2014, when he won gold in the 200m, was something special.

“In 2013 I won the silver medal in the 150m but winning the gold the following year was something I always aimed for when growing up,” he said.

The youngster’s short-term goal is to qualify for the World Youth Championships, next year, in Nairobi, in Kenya.

His long-term goal is to qualify for the World Youth Olympics, in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, in 2018.

“I would need to work hard to get there and to continue getting good results. I believe if I can continue this good run of form my lifelong dream will come true,” he said.

His coach, Alroy Dixon, said Jayson is hard working and dedicated on the athletics track and in the classroom.

“We have been through tough times and Jayson matured emotionally, physically and most importantly, academically,” he said.