Johannesburg, Tuesday, 30 January 2007 – High Jump Commonwealth Champion Anika Smit makes her eagerly awaited return to the track on Friday night at the second Yellow Pages Ultimate Athletics in Potchefstroom.
Smit thrilled South African track and field fans when she won the Commonwealth Title in Melbourne in March last year. No doubt she was looking forward to the African Championships and a successful European Season. Still a junior in Melbourne, the world lay at her feet. But a ligament injury to her right ankle in July 2006 set her back.
It took five and a half months before Anika could even consider training again. “The nature of the injury required that Anika needed a long rest, before she could even contemplate training, never mind competing,” said her coach of five years Martin Marx.
Anika, who turns 21 this year, only started training again in mid December. But both she and her coach are looking forward to Friday. “This will be a test for Anika; it will give us a good indication of where she’s at, “said Marx.
“I’m looking forward to Friday. It is always great to compete in front of your home crowd; but I’m not going to put any pressure on myself, and not set a height. I really just need to know how my ankle holds up under competition stress.
“If I get through Friday in one piece with no niggles or aches and pains, then we’ll start looking to compete at the rest of the Yellow Pages Ultimate Athletics. The big focus for me is the National Championships in March.
“I am a bit nervous, but that’s because I haven’t competed since July last year. It’s just good to be back,” Smit said.
Athletics fans will be looking forward to seeing the attractive young high jumper back in action again, and with the typical support that the athletics knowledgeable spectators in Potchefstroom deliver, Anika could surprise a few people, even herself.
Spectators are reminded to come to the stadium with their hair spray painted yellow or wearing a yellow wig. They stand a chance to be randomly selected to participate in an event at the end of the evening, with the winner taking home R5000 cash. The spectator race is open for men and women.
The main programme starts at 18h00 and Grand stand tickets go for R30, tickets on the open stands are R20 and students pay R10. School children will enter for free.