Ronel Juries leads from the front

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HENDRIENA Persendt and Ronel Juries were the dominant middle distance athletes in the late 1970s until 1982/83.

Ravensmead’s Olga Howard, the South African Senior Schools Sports Association’s (SASSSA) 800m record holder in 1977, completed the trio in the middle distance events.

Ronel Ronel
Ronel Juries (sweatband) in action in the senior ladies 200m in 1982. The rest of the sprinters are Sharon Alexander, Shaheeda Majiet, Suezette Arendse and Dianne Carelse.

Howard, Persendt (Guguletu and UWC) and Juries (Vikings and Hewat) had some famous duels on the Athlone Stadium in the 1970s and, later in the twilight years of their careers, at the Vygieskraal Stadium.

Persendt held the 1500m record and Juries held the 800m record at club level. Juries, while at Hewat, was the  joint record holder with Gillian Alexander of Weltevreden High School (Mitchell’s Plain) in the girls open 200m at Western Province Senior Schools Sports Union level.

Juries also held the 800m record in 1980. Both records stood until the books closed in 1994.

Persendt held the Western Province Amateur Athletics women’s 1500m record.

Persendt (pictured second in the main photograph) was also a versatile athlete who competed in cross country and road races, achieving WP colours in all three disciplines.

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