Hestrie Cloete was born in 1978 In Germiston, Gauteng. At young age
Cloete was very sporty but athletics was her passionate sport. She took
athletics seriously while doing grade nine at Lichtenburg High School
in the North West Province.
1998, age 20 Cloete was already an African champion and had taken part
in the World Cup where she finished second. Between 1998 and 2003
Cloete had set three South African, thirteen African and five Commonwealth
records for high jump. In 2003, President Thabo Mbeki awarded her, the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver,
an award for excellence in the arts, culture, journalism and sport and
was voted World Best Performer. She is the first woman high jumper to
successfully defend her world championship title and the first South
African woman to hold a major world title since Esther Brandt in 1952,
who won gold medal at the Olympic games at Helsinki.
A family dispute over money
has put some strains to her preparations for the Olympic games in Athens.
Despite this setback, Cloete is still
South Africa’s best bet for the gold medal having acquired the
silver medal in the Sydney Olympic games in Australia.
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