Goliath makes giant leaps on the track

Heideveld High's Chauness Goliath was impressive in the track during the WP High Schools' Championships.

With the Western Province High Schools’ athletics season nearing its end, it was the Northern Zone team who yet again dominated the Western Province High Schools’ Junior Championships, at Vygieskraal Stadium, at the weekend.

However, the dominance of the Northern Zone did not affect False Bay Zone’s Chauness Goliath, 17, from Heideveld, who won the double to take gold in the girls’ under-20 100m and 400m hurdles events.

Chauness, a Grade 11 pupil at Heideveld High School, was way ahead of her opponents, finishing in 69.3 seconds in the girls’ under-20 400m and 16.58 seconds in the 100m hurdles events.

Other athletes to do the double in the hurdles events, in their respective age group categories were Northern Zone’s Marga van der Linde, Juli Vercuiel and Liam Pietersen.

Chauness, a former Willows Primary School pupil, will hope to replicate her performances at the Western Cape High Schools’ Championships at Dal Josafat Stadium, in Paarl, next weekend. However, she will have her work cut out for her, as Boland have always dominated the event.

“I am happy about my performances because I did not expect to win gold. I knew I would have tough competition from the Northern Zone’s Kelly-Anne Jacobs who went on to finish third in the 100m hurdles. I feel now that I can take on anyone, at any competition, after dominating the WP champs,” she said.

The youngster started her athletics season in fine style being crowned champion at the Western Province high schools’ False Bay Zone Section A and False Bay Zone champion in the girls’ under-19 100m and 400m hurdles events, at Vygieskraal Stadium, last month.

“I had a great start to the athletics season and hopefully I can continue this great run of form. It has not been easy but I remained positive and gave it my best,” said Chauness who has showed great improvement since last year after coming fifth in the girls’ under-18 400m hurdles final and not making it to the finals of the 100m hurdles.

“I fought for what is mine, which was to be among the medallists. After watching Northern Zone’s Micahla Szebelledi beat me last year to be crowned WP champion I was motivated to do well this year,” she said.

Chauness is an admirer of South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, who won gold in the 800m at the Rio Olympics last year.

“She is a world class athlete that always gives her best at competitions.

Although an 800m specialist, she also dominated the 400m events in South Africa, last year. Caster was an underdog before she won the 2009 world championships in Germany. I hope to follow in her footsteps one day,” she said.

Her mother Dorothy said she is proud of her daughter’s achievements and hopes she can continue her rising form in athletics.

“Her dreams of doing well in athletics are finally coming true. When she was in primary school she always told me that one-day she hopes to make the WP team and WC team. However, her biggest dream is to represent the country,” she said.