Nineteen-year-old Thembo Monareng has seen a remarkable improvement in form since joining Tuks at the beginning of 2018. Monareng, a Sports Management student at the host university for the second and final instalment of the 2018 Varsity Athletics series, believes that training in a group of sprinters who compete at national level has made all the difference.
“I finished matric at Garsfontein in 2017 and came to Tuks and Hennie Kriel at the end of 2017. My previous coach at Garsfontein, Adri Schoeman got me this far, but when I joined Tuks, I also had to change coaches. I will be forever grateful to Adri for taking to me a level where my talent was recognized by an institution such as Tuks and can now go even further in my athletics.”
Thembo was too strong for his rivals in the men’s 100m at the first Varsity Athletics Meeting on 2 March, (also at Tuks) and triumphed with a 10.33sec win. There he was the won with the bulls eye on his back as he had the fastest time coming into the event – a 10.18sec clocking at the AGN Championships on Saturday 24 February.
“That was a great race, I was really happy with it, but it was a wind aided race, so for my it is not a PB. But it gave me confidence and the knowledge I can go fast.”
And fast he has gone after qualifying for the finals at the SA Senior Athletics Championships on Thursday 15 March, running a personal best in the semi-finals of 10.23sec. The finals are tonight 16 March and the youngster is confident he can go even faster.
“I am racing with the best, Anaso (Jobodwana), Henricho (Bruintjies), Roscoe (Engel), so I have every reason to believe I can do better.”
And that confidence is well warranted as Monareng was part of the SA Junior 4x100m relays team that set a new SA Junior Record in the relay, clocking 39.46sec.
“I’m in great shape and coach Hennie Kriel has made a huge difference to my starts, so I am really confident going into the final of the Varsity Athletics final on 23 March. I need to show my appreciation to Tuks for accepting me as a student and of course want to get the team maximum points, so nothing less than a win, with a fast time will be good enough for me,” says Monareng.
His competitors have been warned.
By Manfred Seidler