Crowned national champion in the both the 200 and 400-metre events at the national track and field championships in Stellenbosch earlier this month, Justine Palframan has done it again … this time at the weekend’s University Sports SA (USSA) Championships at the same venue, writes Mark Etheridge.
Only this time her feat was all the more impressive, with personal best times in both events at her home track. And her new bests qualify her for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China later this year.
The KwaZulu-Natal athlete, now studying at Stellenbosch University, first blitzed to victory in the one-lap event, clocking 51.78 seconds. That clipped 0.09sec off her previous best. The next day she won the 200m in 22.96 which was 0.06sec inside her previous best for the half-lapper.
‘We decided to go hard in the semi-final because weather conditions were perfect and we wanted to escape the late afternoon winds,’ Palframan explained to Road to Rio 2016. ‘I’m extremely happy that all the hard work is paying off and everything is coming together nicely.
‘I didn’t expect to run a personal best but I ran according to my race plan and I believe I still have more in me,’ she said confidently after having trained through the December period last year as opposed to the previous year when she had been injured
‘In the 200m all I wanted to do was get below 23sec so I’m real happy.’
Palframan will give the SA Open Championships a miss in Potchefstroom, North West this weekend. ‘That would have been a last resort to qualifying, which I have done now so I think we’ll be training rather than racing.
‘I think I’ll sit down with coach Mohamed [Ally] in the next week or so and he’ll discuss it with my parents and manager, Peet van Zyl. I just need to catch up on the studies now.’
Asked if she could put a finger on any specific reason for her improved form she said. ‘I think it’s really just a result of the training programmes and the weather conditions at the time of racing. For the 400m I think it was a case of getting a few races into my legs.’
Source : South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee