Tuks Sport

Second semester sport lookout

ANTHONY JORDAAN

Following a highly successful start to the UP 2017 sporting calendar in the first semester, the juggernaut that is TuksSport has been tempered, if only momentarily, as the result of a brief hiatus as students and athletes alike return from the mid-year recess.

Expectations, however, have not been quelled as Varsity Sport begins again in relentless fashion with the return of Varsity Football this month. 2017 has proved to be an unforgettable year for most sporting codes at the University of Pretoria, as the university’s trophy cabinet continues to fill up at an alarming rate. Success for UP in the first half of the year came with victories in the Varsity Athletics, Varsity Cup and Varsity Hockey tournaments.

Athletes participating in sporting codes and tournaments throughout the second semester of the year will similarly be looking to contribute towards what is shaping up to be an unparalleled level of success for the UP. With preparations having occurred throughout the year and pre-season training now at an end, Varsity Football will be the first sporting code to return. The competition will get underway on July 27, with the tournament marked as the fifth instalment.

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Tuks athletes heat up the winter break

EMMANUEL OLUSEGUN

UP’s junior and senior track and field stars have kept busy during this past winter break, pulling off a string of impressive performances both locally and internationally.

The university’s junior athletes formed part of the SA team that competed at the IAAF World U/18 Athletics Championships in July. From 12 to 16 July, the Moi International Sports centre in Nairobi, Kenya played host to the championships, marking the first time the event has been held on the continent.

Day one of the competition saw TuksSport High school Sprinter Tshenolo Lemao take Gold in the boys’ 100m final. Lemao’s winning time of 10.57 seconds saw him become the first South African athlete ever to win a 100m world title. Compatriot, Retshidisitswe Mlenga, finished a close second in a time of 10.61 seconds to secure a historic one-two finish for team SA. The duo would go in to secure an equally impressive one-two finish in the 200m event, with Mlenga taking first place honours and Lemao coming in second. Fellow TuksSport High School athlete Zazini Sokwakhana seemed to draw inspiration from the Mlenga and Lemao’s performances as he too raced to victory in the boys 400m hurdles final in 49.27 seconds.

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Former UP players feature in Springboks season opener

ANTHONY JORDAAN.                                                                                                                                                   
On Saturday, 10 June, Loftus Versfeld played host to a reinvigorated Springbok team who, following a disappointing 2016 season, were looking to overturn a current four-match losing streak. Among the seasoned professionals in the starting line-up were former UP students and Varsity Cup Champions from 2012 and 2013 – Franco Mostert (Lock) and Jessie Kriel (Outside Centre). Mostert, aged 26, made his eighth appearance for the Springboks, while Kriel 23) made his 18th appearance for the national squad. The match marked the first of three matches in this year’s Castle Lager incoming tour series season opener friendlies.
The match got underway in perfect conditions as an expectant crowd of 29 313 spectators watched the Springbok rugby team attempt to make up for what is regarded as one of the worst chapters in their history: their loss of eight of their twelve games in 2016.  

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UP represents at USSA Championships

KWAZI SOKHELA

The mid-year winter recess provided the occasion for the 2017 University Sports South Africa (USSA) Championships, which is an annually contested intervarsity competition between various institutions throughout the country spanning across several sporting disciplines. A large contingent of the University of Pretoria’s sports clubs featured prominently and took home either gold, silver or bronze medals in their respective sporting disciplines.

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) played host to a variety of sporting codes including hockey, rugby, chess and gymnastics. It was in two of these sporting codes that UP ultimately emerged victorious. It was the UP women’s hockey team that set the early precedent as they went one step further this year by taking top honours at the 2017 USSA Hockey event, which took place from 28 June to 2 July, when they defeated the University of Johannesburg (UJ) 1-0 in the A-section final. The men’s team placed in third position earning themselves a bronze medal in their efforts with victory over Wits.

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TuksHockey claim their first Varsity Hockey title.

ANTHONY JORDAAN

Following back to back play-offs and qualifiers in Stellenbosch and Potchefstroom earlier this month, the 2017 Varsity Hockey tournament concluded at TuksHockey’s Astro turf in Pretoria on Monday evening 22 May.

Even though it was a chilly evening, fans flocked to the stadium in support of the log leaders and home side Tuks, as they went on to claim their first ever Varsity Hockey title, defeating the University of Stellenbosch (Maties) 1-0.

The final game of the season saw the two teams topping the log go head to head, to produce end to end action from the offset.Tuks took advantage of early momentum and roaring home side support, however it was Maties who had two penalty corners in quick succession in the 14th minute of the game, and who produced one last attempt with a deflected shot just before the end of the first Chukka of the game.

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