Summer Universiade returns

KWAZI SOKHELA

24 Tuks athletes as well as five HPC and Tuks technical staff members have been made a part of the delegation that will represent Team South Africa at the 29th rendition of the 2017 Summer Universiade, which is set to take place from 19 to 30 August.

The Universiade, which is also referred to as the World Student Games or the World University Games, is the biggest international, multi-coded sporting competition for student athletes, and is organised by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The event attracts thousands of young student athletes from more than 170 countries, and has become a platform for the world’s future generation of athletes to showcase their talents against the world’s best student athletes.

Last month University Sports South Africa (USSA) named and finalised a contingent of 180 members that will be sent to the event to represent Team South Africa. There are 129 members from Team South Africa who will be competing in ten sporting disciplines at the event, this includes football, water polo, tennis, athletics, fencing, golf, gymnastics, swimming, and table tennis at the event. The remaining 51 members will consist of a technical team of coaches, medical staff and managers.

UP athletes involved in the event include well-known UP sprinter Thando Roto and hurdler Rikenette Steenkamp. Roto become the second-fastest South African sprinter of all time when he ran a 9.95 seconds in the Gauteng North Championships earlier this year. Steenkamp will be competing with a string of victories already under her belt. She broke th e 100m Varsity Athletics record this year with a time of 13.12 seconds, and was named Victrix Ludorum of the tournament. Earlier this year, she was won four of the five races in Europe, with her placing second in the race in Ostrava. In Ostrava, she managed to dip under the highly coveted 13 second mark to become the second South African athlete to do so. Unfortunately, Steenkamp had to pull out of the IAAF World Champions due to a hamstring injury.

In comparison to the delegation sent to the 2015 edition of the Summer Universiade, which saw 32 athletes, two coaches and two managers, the 2017 delegation has 25 more UP representatives. USSA and Team South Africa have set their sights on bringing home ten medals from the competition, in an attempt to eclipse the six medal tally that was achieved by Team South Africa in the 2015 Summer Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea.

 

Image: Twitter, FISU.

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