South Africa won their first and only medal in the Girls’ Javelin thanks to Tazmin Brits, who went one better than her compatriot Justine Robbeson did in 2001 by taking gold with her final throw of the competition.
Brits was the favourite after throwing a PB of 56.55m earlier the year and coming close to it in qualifying with 55.90m. But in hot and humid conditions, distances were made to suffer – and so was Brits.
Finland’s Carita Hinkka almost had the competition sewn up with her first throw of 51.61m. Brits could only respond with 50.50m in the second round and was bumped down to third after the other Finn, Sini Kiiski, threw a season’s best of 50.75 in the fourth round.
But Brits regained composure and unleashed a 51.71m throw on her final attempt to beat Hinkka by 10 centimetres.
Despite having a strong tradition in the javelin, Finland had never before had any girl win a medal in this event at the World Youth Championships. But, just like waiting for a bus, two came along at once.