Speed queen Justine returns to her roots

Justine Palframan presents a framed Protea running vest she wore at the Rio Olympics to eShowe High Principal Eddy Curtis PHOTO: Larry Bentley

JUSTINE Palframan returned to her Alma Mater, eShowe High School, to present a framed Protea running vest she wore at the Rio Olympics Games.

She has had a remarkable climb through the athletics ranks and acknowledge the contribution by the school, her parents and the eShowe community, who have banded together to ensure she can live her dream.

Her achievements were read out at an assembly by the eShowe High Principal Eddy Curtis.

Justine attended eShowe High from 2007 until 2011.

She was the Sportswoman of the Year in 2010 and 2011.

She had to choose between swimming and athletics. While at school she represented KZN and KZN Schools in swimming at national level throughout her high school career, winning several medals at the South African Championships.

Athletics career

In 2008, while in Grade 9, Justine represented both the South African Youth and U20 teams as a 14-year-old at the Southern Regions Championship and Zone 6 Games respectively.

She still holds the unofficial South African best times for an U15 girl in both the 200 and 400 metre events.

Justine represented South Africa at the 2009 IAAF World Junior Championships in Italy, where she finished fourth in the 400 metres and ninth in the 200 metres.

The following year she again qualified for World Junior Championships.

In the Southern African Zone 6 Championships she bettered the South African Youth record for the 400 metres.

While completing her matric in 2011, Justine went to the Africa Junior Championships in Botswana, finishing second in the 400 metres and was part of the 4x400m relay team which won gold.

Post-school activities

In 2012 she bettered the South African junior 400m record which had stood for 29 years.

Both her youth and junior records still stand.

Justine moved to Stellenbosch University in 2013 and had the oppportunity to represent South Africa at her first IAAF World Senior Championships in Moscow, Russia.

She also participated in her first World Student Games in Kazan, winning bronze in the 4x400m relay.

In 2014 she competed in the Africa Championships and represented Africa in the Inter-Continental Cup event.

Working towards her dream of making the Olympic Games, Justine represented South Africa at the IAAF World Senior CHampionships in the 200m and 400m.

She made it through to the semi-finals in 200m, qualifying her for the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

She also went to the World Student Games in Gwanju, South Korea, where she won a gold medal in the 400m in a personal best time and cementing her qualification for Rio.

Highlight

Possibly the highlight of her career to date was her participation in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

She competed in the 200m and 400m events and was also a member of the 4x400m relay team of which Caster Semenya was a member.

The team won and bettered the South African record.

Justine has just returned from the IAAF World Senior Championships in London, where she made the 200m semi-finals.

From London, she travelled to Paipei in Taiwan for the World Student Games where she won a silver medal in the 400m in a season’s best time.

She has returned to Stellenbosch University to continue her studies as she enjoys the break from competitve athletics.

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  AUTHOR
Larry Bentley
Journalist / Editor: Agri Eco

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