Stefanie GreylingSasolburg, a small industrial town in the Free State, seems to be the breeding ground of champions when it comes to the Hammer Throw. Stefanie Greyling, head girl of THS Sasolburg, says she grew up as a fan of sports, especially athletics – having been a shot-put and discuss athlete in her primary years. “I was in grade 7 when me and my dad saw Chris Harmse (2010 Commonwealth Games champ, 19x National Champ and SA Record holder @ 80.63m) training at the back of the Sasolburg stadium” , she knew there and then that this was the discipline for a lady like herself.

Enter Basie Koen, “who is like a father… a true motivator” and Head Coach of the HTS/VUT Hammer Throw Academy, who took Greyling in his more than capable hands as a girl of 13, yet to grab a hammer.. The pair have since become a force to be reckoned with – Free State Interhigh champions from 2011-2014. But Greyling herself admits that she “hasn’t enjoyed much success when it comes to the National Schools Championships” : taking silver in 2011, an agonizing 4th in 2012, adding two more silvers in ’13 and ’14..

Although not being the best decorated hammer thrower of her South African generation, Stefanie went to the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine last year. “Participating in Donetsk made me see myself in a different light, it showed me that it takes a lot of hard work to be an international athlete.” The experience motivated her to aim for much greater heights. The junior hammer thrower, who sees herself competing one day against the likes of Tatyana Lysenko, Anita Wlodarcyk and Bianca Perrie (to name a few), was the surprise bronze medallist at the SA Senior Athletics held in Pretoria.

“For me to compete at the Worlds or the Olympics, it’s going to take a lot from my side, like pushing myself even harder in the gym and throwing circle – to be the 1st South African female to throw the 4kg hammer over 60m, and then build from there to be a World Champ” , “I get a lot of support from my friends and family, who understand that hammer throw comes 1st in the things I do. I know that God is with me throughout my career, and with Him I can never go wrong. Hammer throw is a talent given to me, it’s my identity, my life” – inspirational words from Stefanie Greyling.

EC Media Manager – Adriaan Aldridge in collaboration with Itumeleng Makhethe.