Jack be nimble, Jack be quick

Focused… Naeem Jack, in action at last week’s Athletics South Africa (ASA) under-16 (sub-youth), under-18 (youth) and under-20 (junior) track and field national club championships, at NWU McArthur Athletics Stadium, in Potchefstroom.

It’s official, Naeem Jack, 14, is the fastest hurdler in his division over 100m.

But, instead of jumping over a candlestick, as does the main character in a popular nursery rhyme, leapfrogging over obstacles on the track does the trick for this Jack.

An image of the Portland speedster posted on Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) Facebook page paints a picture of pure focus and determination.

The lanky teen was in fine form as he cleared one hurdle after the other on his way to setting a boys’ under-16 SA best, at the ASA under-16 (sub-youth), under-18 (youth) and under-20 (junior) track and field national club championships, at North-West University’s McArthur Athletics Stadium, in Potchefstroom, on Friday April 1.

A note posted alongside his picture states that SA records are not officially kept by Athletics South Africa in the sub-youth age group, in which Naeem competes.

However, ASA was quick to point out that the young flyer did well to set a national best of 12.47, to earn a commanding victory in the boys’ under-16 100m hurdles final.

Plainsman spoke to Naeem and his teammate Cole Fluks, ahead of their departure for last week’s club championships (“Promising future for star athletes,” Plainsman, Wednesday March 30).

The two, both pupils at Mondale High School, are coached by hurdles and sprint specialist Paul Jacobus founder of Elite Athletics, a training programme for promising sprinters based at Parkhurst Primary School, in Westridge.

Naeem, formally of Colorado Park, now alternatively living with his grandmother in Portland during the school term and with his parents in Ottery, broke the record twice, as he recorded the fastest time in the heats and broke his own SA record in the finals, said Jacobus.

He added that Cole, 16, also performed well, coming home with a silver medal for the 200m sprint in his division. Jacobus described working with these young talents over the last four to five years as a “blessing”, saying “they are unique individuals with an enormous amount of talent.’’

For Naeem, it’s not only about crossing the finish line first. Reflecting on future goals, he said, “My plans are to make it to the Olympics and not just make it to the Olympics but to break the work record in 110m.”Jack be nimble, Jack be quick

It’s official, Naeem Jack, 14, is the fastest hurdler in his division over 100m. But, instead of jumping over a candlestick as does the main character in a popular nursery rhyme, leapfrogging over obstacles on the track, does the trick for this Jack.

An image of the Portland speedster posted on Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) Facebook page paints a picture of pure focus and determination.

The lanky teen was in fine form as he cleared one hurdle after the other on his way to setting a boys’ under-16 SA best, at the ASA under-16 (sub-youth), under-18 (youth) and under-20 (junior) track and field national club championships, at North-West University’s McArthur Athletics Stadium, in Potchefstroom, on Friday April 1.

A note posted alongside his picture states that SA records are not officially kept by Athletics South Africa in the sub-youth age group, in which Naeem competes.

However, ASA was quick to point out that the young flyer did well to set a national best of 12.47, to earn a commanding victory in the boys’ under-16 100m hurdles final.

Plainsman spoke to Naeem and his teammate Cole Fluks, ahead of their departure for last week’s club championships (“Promising future for star athletes,” Plainsman, March 30).

The two, both pupils at Mondale High School, are coached by hurdles and sprint specialist Paul Jacobus, founder of Elite Athletics, a training programme for promising sprinters based at Parkhurst Primary School, in Westridge.

Naeem, formerly of Colorado Park, now alternatively living with his grandmother in Portland during the school term and with his parents in Ottery, broke the record twice, as he recorded the fastest time in the heats and broke his own SA record in the finals, said Jacobus.

He added that Cole, 16, also performed well, coming home with a silver medal for the 200m sprint in his division. Jacobus described working with these young talents over the past four to five years as a “blessing”, describing them as “unique individuals with an enormous amount of talent”.

For Naeem, it’s not only about crossing the finish line first. Reflecting on future goals, he said, “My plans are to make it to the Olympics and not just make it to the Olympics but to break the work record in 110mh.”