02 September 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer
Yolandi and Lynique
Yolandi Stander in action for the South African team at the African Games in Morocco. She won the silver medal in the discus throw. Lynique Beneke won a bronze medal at the African Games.

Although their performances were described as a surprise by the one and a letdown by the other, both these aspiring teachers managed to bring home a silver medal from Morocco.

Improving her personal best in the discus throw by nearly four metres to claim silver at the African Games, came as a huge surprise for Yolandi Stander. 

The 20-year-old Education student managed a heave of 57,75 m at the games in Morocco on Thursday 29 August 2019. Her previous best throw was 54,00 m, with which she won the gold medal at this year’s USSA championship in April 2019. 

“I did not feel such a distance was possible. Not at all. I was shocked,” Stander said. 

Top achievement of my senior career

“My goal for this competition was to throw 55 m. I didn’t expect to throw almost three metres further than that. This will now rank as the top achievement of my senior career.”

It was Stander’s last competition for the season. “I am so fortunate to end on a high. It makes you want to work even harder, because you know that hard work eventually pays off.”

Also on Thursday, fellow Kovsie Lynique Beneke bagged a bronze medal in the long jump. She and Stander are both members of the South African team.

Best jump for 2019 was 6,64 m

Beneke said she was grateful for her medal but felt she could have done better than her jump of 6,30 m. “I wasn’t happy with my distance, as I felt better than my distance showed. I was definitely in better shape than my performance showed.”

Beneke, also an Education student, said she was not sure if this would be her final meeting for the season. “I am waiting for the final team to the World Champs to be announced. According to IAAF standards, I qualified.” Her best jump for 2019 was 6,64 m.

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