Sparks will fly when some of the country’s top track and field talent go head to head in the second and deciding Varsity Athletics meeting at the Kenneth McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom on Friday.
The night will be the perfect combination of power and speed as hosts NWU look to consolidate their lead in pursuit of their second Varsity Athletics title.
NWU topped the log after the first meeting in Stellenbosch on March 15 with 15 590 points with UJ trailing by just 45 points. While it may look like a two-horse race for top honours, defending champions Tuks could make a late charge on third place only 11 points behind UJ.
Speedster Chederick van Wyk is the poster boy for NWU’s campaign as he goes in search of a rare 100-200m double on Friday evening. Van Wyk shared the top step of the 200m podium with Madibaz’s Luxolo Adams in Stellenbosch while he had to settle for the silver in the 100m sprint.
He finished second behind Tuks’ Shaahid Motala in an electrifying 100m on the newly refurbished Coetzenburg Stadium two weeks ago. Motala has been ruled out due to injury which improves Van Wyk’s chances in the short-sprint event.
Van Wyk will line up against the fleet-footed Tuks sprinter Thembo Monareng and NWU team-mate Theodor Young, who won bronze in Stellenbosch. But Van Wyk’s biggest challenge in his pursuit of the double will come from Adams, the breakthrough artist of South African sprinting in 2018.
Adams, who won his maiden South African 200m title last year where he clocked a blistering 20.08 seconds in Pretoria, will add to the world-class field. World Youth and Junior 400m hurdles champions Sokwakhana Zazini and Zeney van der Walt will be looking to build on their dominant performances from the first leg.
Zazini was in a class of his own in Stellenbosch where he opened his season with a time of 51.51 winning his race by nearly a second. Van der Walt was equally impressive in the women’s race, winning comfortably in a time of 58.24.
The real fireworks may come from the field events after a host of records tumbled at the Stellenbosch meeting. Former World Youth gold medallist Werner Visser is finally coming into his own after a stellar throwing performance two weeks ago.
The UJ discus thrower smashed his own Varsity Athletics record with a heave of 59.57m improving his previous mark by nearly four metres.
World Youth high-jump gold medallist Breyton Poole will continue his duel with NWU’s two-time national champion Mpho Links. Links beat Poole in his own backyard with a winning leap and new Varsity Athletics record of 2.20m but can expect a backlash from the Maties sensation.
Meanwhile, the Varsity Athletics meeting will welcome world javelin throw royalty with Czech legend and world record holder Jan Železný and Germany’s Uwe Hohn, who holds the “eternal world record”.
The 2019 Varsity Athletics series will be broadcast live on SuperSport Select (channel 210) from 17:00 to 20:00.
Tickets can be bought on the Varsity Sports app or at https://varsitysportsa.plankton.mobi/Home/Index.
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