Tuks Sport

Watch out for Wenda Nel: UP hurdler to feature at Rio Olympics

THORISO PHASHA

Road to Rio
UP-Tuks HPC 400lm hurdles athlete, Wenda Nel, secured her spot on the South African Olympic team on 15 April this year when she impressed at the South African Senior Championships in Stellenbosch. This was Nel’s first competitive 400 m hurdles event of the season and she finished in a record time of 54.85ls, which was well within the Olympic qualifying time of 56.20 s. The 27-year old hurdler competed in the 100 m and 200 m events as a Junior Championship athlete, but has since established herself as a 400 m hurdles specialist.

Nel was competing both locally and internationally in the prelude to the Olympics. She faced some challenges at. IAAF Diamond League Series in Rabat in May, but she managed a third place finish after losing some momentum in the final stretch with a time of 54.88 s. Nel was back in action at the Rome Diamond League in June when she scooped a silver medal with a time of 54.61 s in the women’s 400 m hurdles. A return to African soil saw Nel continue her winning momentum at the World Challenge event in Morocco to finish in a time of 55.36 s.

Read more: Watch out for Wenda Nel: UP hurdler to feature at Rio Olympics

Bruintjies en route to Rio

THORISO PHASHA

Road to Rio: In July 2015 Henricho Bruintjies became the third South African in history to run sub 10 seconds in the 100 m following previous feats by Simon Makgakwe and fellow Tuks athlete Akani Simbine. Bruintjies smashed Makgakwe’s record with a time of 9.97 s at the Switzerland Resisprint International meeting. This was a record breaking week for South Africa in the 100 m sprint as Simbine had run a 9.99 s a few days prior to the 9.97 s by Bruintjies.

Bruintjies started athletics in primary school and went on to become Under-23 100 m national champion in 2013 with a time of 10.44 s. Bruintjies further competed in the National Senior Championships later that year in the 100 m to claim second place behind former National Champion and now banned Simon Makgakwe. He was part of the South African 4x100 m relay team that finished seventh at the 2013 Summer Universiade tournament. Bruintjies continued his ascent as he marked his 2014 season with a new personal best of 10.17 s in the 100 m. He was also part of the record-breaking South African team that competed in the 4x100 m relay event at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It was a race in which he ran the opening leg to set up the team for a national record time of 38.35 s.

Read more: Bruintjies en route to Rio

Gift Leotlela books ticket to Rio

THORISO PHASHA
Gift Leotlela of TuksSport High School has clinched a spot on the South African Olympic team competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 18-year-old athlete is among the elite sprinters in the country. Leotlela qualified for the 200 m event at the Rio Olympics when he competed at the CAA Southern Region Under-20 Championships in Lusaka. He won the 200 m event in an Olympic qualifying time of 20.47 s. His training partner Clarence Munyai, who is a fellow student at TuksSport High, also qualified for the Olympics for a third time with a time of 20.45 s during the heats, only to be disqualified in the final.

Read more: Gift Leotlela books ticket to Rio

While you’ve been away: USSA

TAY LETHULOE
UP-Tuks proved once again to be one of the top performing institutions in the University Sports South Africa (USSA) rankings as they placed within the top three of multiple sporting codes which were on display over the mid-year semester break. The USSAs are one of the premier intervarsity championships in South Africa as university institutions across SA showcase their sporting skills.

Read more: While you’ve been away: USSA

UP’s road back to PSL following relegation

DYLAN JACK
The University of Pretoria was relegated from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) after finishing second from the bottom of the log and failing to win a single one of their relegation playoff matches.Following their second from bottom finish in the PSL season, UP played playoff matches in a three team log format against Mbombela United and Highlands Park, the teams who finished third and second respectively in the National First Division (NFD).

Read more: UP’s road back to PSL following relegation

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