Justine fails to make the cut

2013-08-16 00:00

JUSTINE Palframan debuted in the 200 m at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow yesterday morning, but failed to progress to the evening’s semi-finals.

With world 100 m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce two lanes outside her, it was always going to be fast and the 19-year-old South African faded midway down the home straight to finish fifth in 23,64 seconds, and out of sight for a qualification as one of three fastest losers.

Fraser-Pryce was unchallenged in taking her heat in 22,78 seconds.

“I went off hard, but tied up on the home straight,” said the Stellenbosch University student. “It’s been an amazing experience, but I am disappointed with my time. I had hoped to get a PB and that it may have given me a spot in the semi. I’d have been satisfied with a PB.”

Although her disappointment was obvious, it’s been a tough year for the youngster, who is better known as a 400 m runner, but only focused on the 200 m this year in order to reduce the impact of her first year of study in Sports Science and the relocation from home in Eshowe to a new life in Boland. “It wasn’t really intentional to drop the 400 m, but it just worked out that way, particularly after winning the 200 m title at the [SA] champs in April.

“I like being in Stellenbosch and being with my coach, so the move from KZN suits me,” said Palframan, who was brought up in Eshowe, and was initially coached by her father Steve.

“Now [the world championships are over], I’m going to catch up on my studies and then the exams and hopefully next year will be a bit more stable. I’m still waiting to hear if I will return to Jamaica for another training camp. If I do, it will only be in November or December.”

Palframan has been over to the islands three times previously and the experience gained paid off handsomely in her junior performances.

“It’s helped me realise what you have to do to be the best, how they train, how they live and their experience, and when it comes to big competitions you’ve already been next to the very best people, so its not as intimidating. I think that has helped me and of course when you get here you see familiar faces,” said Palframan, adding that the facilites in Jamaica were not the best. “They work with what they’ve got. They don’t have any complaints, they just do it. I used to train on a grass track at home and you have to work with what you have.”

With her birthday on November 4, she is in the “transition” year into the senior ranks, which is another big step up in athletics terms, but one she has come through with flying colours, having set a personal best of 23,22 seconds in Potchefstroom and 23,28 in April at Stellenbosch to take the SA Senior title.

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