MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
Team South Africa will have its full complement of men’s 400 m hurdlers at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro from 5-21 August, and one of them will be UP’s very own Leroux Hamman. The 24-year-old athlete achieved the Olympic qualifying time at UP-Tuks Athletics’ opening of its new athletics track this past June, winning his race with a new personal best of 49.24 s, demolishing his previous only sub-50 run of 49.99 s. For years, Hamman was considered as one of many local 400 m hurdles runners hoping to break the 50 second barrier. According to Hamman, “four hard years of training and devotion” has allowed the UP athlete to initially change his time from 50.99 s to 49.99 s, which was the first indication that Hamman was improving.
Earlier this year when interviewed by Perdeby, the topic of the Olympic time for qualification came up and Hamman said, “As for that Olympic qualifying time, the best way to achieve that is to keep on praying and believing that God will bless me with going to the Olympics. I have been running hurdles for 14 years now, and one of the biggest lessons I have learnt is that you can’t run hurdles without God. So in short, my faith will determine my athletic goals this year.” The athlete made sure to attribute his success to his faith, the role his coach Irma Reyneke played in his breakthrough, and the impact that UP has had in his development. Hamman had nothing but positive remarks about his time at UP, as well as the setup that’s in place for its athletes: “In almost all of the events, UP sits with the best coaches in SA. When an athlete performs, half of the credit is due to the coach. When you know you have the best coach, you believe you are on the right track. With every training session and every gym session, you know they have a plan and are making you faster and better. With so many good coaches in UP, all the athletes have the belief that they can win, which eventually makes you win,” he explained. Hamman has made it clear that he is a man to watch in Rio and has instilled the hope for another potential South African medallist, with perhaps a time under 49 seconds.