The first leg of Varsity Athletics 2019 at Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch, produced an evening of high-quality athletics and saw records tumble, fast sprint times, as well as upsets and drama aplenty.
One of the biggest upsets of the night was in the high jump for men where NWU’s Mpho Links beat World Junior champion and hometown favourite, Breyton Poole, after breaking his own Varsity Athletics record by clearing a height of 2.20m.
Poole, competing in Maties colours for the first time, cleared 2.15m but couldn’t succeed at 2.20m to the disappointment of the home crowd. “I didn’t manage to get the result tonight but kudos to Mpho who performed brilliantly and deserved to take gold. I was a bit tired after class today but I don’t want to use that as an excuse. Hopefully I can improve my 2.15m in Potch and do well for Maties,” the first-year theology student told Varsity Sports after the event.
The 23-year-old Links, who was the Varsity Athletics record holder at 2.15m, cleared that height as well as 2.20m and had his sights set on a new personal best of 2.25m but couldn’t manage to clear the bar at that height. The new record now stands at 2.20m.
The sport science student said that it had been a long day for him. “I got up this morning at 4am. Drove from Potch to Johannesburg in order to get to Lanseria to catch a flight to Cape Town. We got here at 11:00 and I only got to eat at 12:00 for the first time. I didn’t really expect to do well tonight but I’m very happy that I got the result tonight and break my own Varsity Athletics record,” he said.
Links and Poole will be battling it out for high jump honours again on 15 March – this time Links will be the one with home ground advantage.
By Shafiek Mouton @fiekie7