UP athletes perform in Potch and Pretoria

From 3 to 4 March, athletes from the University of Pretoria descended upon Potchefstroom and Pretoria for the 2017 Varsity Athletics and an Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) meeting. It was a weekend where several athletes enjoyed success and displayed record-breaking performances.

On 3 March at North-West University, the fifth instalment of Varsity Athletics kicked off. UP enjoyed a fruitful campaign in the first instalment of the 2017 Varsity Athletics action. They currently find themselves top of the standings with a points tally of 15 604 in Division A of the competition, in which seven other universities feature and compete, while four other universities compete in Division B.

 In the track events, the Victor Ludorum and the Victrix Ludorum were Thando Roto and Rikenette Steenkamp. Roto clocked 10.18s to win the men’s 100m sprint, whereas Steenkamp clocked 13.24s to win the women’s 100m hurdles, despite having to run the event twice due to technicalities in the first run. Among other results were those of Rio Olympian, Gift Leotlela, who ran a time of 20.50s to win the men’s 200m event, and Tebogo Mamatu who won the women’s 100m sprint. Gezelle Magerman finished in third position in the women’s 400m hurdles, while Constant Pretorius finished in second in the men’s 400m hurdles. Both George Kusche (men’s) and Michelle Redelinghuys (women’s) claimed third in their respective 800m events. In the field events, Chene Coetzee (women’s hammer throw) and Ruan Combrink (men’s shot put) claimed silver, while Patrick Duvenage managed to claim gold in the men’s discus. UP will be looking to reclaim the title this year in the second and final meeting on 31 March.

In Pretoria at the Tuks Stadium, 4 March proved to be a historic day for South African athletics during an AGN league meeting, when UP sprinter Akani Simbine opened his season campaign with a bang. Simbine made history by clocking the fastest ever time in the 100m sprint in South Africa when he crossed the finish line with a time of 9.93s. Simbine also became the first South African to run sub- 10 seconds in the 100m and sub-20 seconds (posting a time of 19.95 in the event) in the 200m on the same day, joining none other than Wayde van Niekerk as the only other South African to have achieved such a feat. In addition, 19 year-old Clarence Munyai who competed in the Olympics last year, also broke the SA junior 200m record, stopping the clock with a time of 20.10 seconds.


Photo: Image provided 

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