School girl owns senior hammer throw record

Andrew Poolman
School girl Annelize Smith improved a long-standing Namibian senior national athletics record in the women’s hammer throw last weekend.

Smith, a 17-year-old turning 18 in April, is a learner at Windhoek Gymnasium and a registered athlete at QSB Athletics Club.

She was among a team of 24 Windhoek Gymnasium athletes who competed at the Gimmie Sport Prestige meeting in Potchefstroom. The Namibians returned with 14 bronze, 12 silver and 19 gold medals.

Smith achieved a second place in the girls under-19 hammer throw with a best effort of 34.85 metres.

Nadine van der Merwe’s previous national senior women’s record had stood since 15 July 1995, when she achieved 33.24 metres in Windhoek.

“Annelize and her sister Ansuné, who grew up in Keetmanshoop, are among the very few Namibian athletes actively pursuing the hammer throw, a discipline which is very rarely accommodated at local events.

“The new record distance may not be that impressive by international standards, but Annelize is improving and she does deserve recognition for improving the senior women’s mark that had stood for some years now,” her coach Henk Botha said.

Smith’s achievement came on the same day when one of Botha’s other prodigies, Coenraad Kühn, equalled the oldest Namibian record in existence, namely the almost 55-year-old shot put mark of 17.10 metres set in April 1969.

• Among the Windhoek Gymnasium touring squad’s other achievements in Potchefstroom on Saturday were Marike Weitz being awarded the senior victrix ludorum prize, after setting a new meeting record in the girls U16 discuss throw.

Alexandra Scheepers (girls U15) improved two meeting records, namely in the high jump and long jump.