Four hours of some of the best athletes South Africa has on offer, showcasing their magnificent talent, will be on display on Friday 18 March at UJ Stadium for the first of two Varsity Athletics Meetings.
Topping the bill is newly crowned SA 100m Record Holder, Akani Simbine who recently ran 9.96sec to claim the record. Simbine is the only South African to have broken the 10sec mark more than once and 2016 promises to be huge year for the Tukkies athlete.
Caster Semenya too is in incomparable form. The 2009 World Champion and 2011 and 2012 World and Olympic Silver Medalist has twice in this year already improved on her lifetime best in the 400m. Her latest time being 51.47sec – an Olympic qualifier. The 800m this year will be very interesting; Caster however will represent Pukke in the 400m.
A duel that will be worth watching is the women’s long jump as Lynique Prinsloo of UJ takes on Matie Samantha Pretorius. The two have met on a number of occasions with Prinsloo coming out tops most of the time. This will be Prinsloo’s second big competition of 2016 and she is capable of hauling out a huge jump, having already gone 6.69m at a League Meeting in Germiston. That is 1cm short of an Olympic qualifier – her big goal. Prinsloo will also want to impress for her new club. The two will meet again in the 4x100m relay later in the evening.
Rynhardt van Rensburg will fly the flag for Kovsies (Free State) in the men’s 800m. The two lap specialist won Bronze at the World University Championships in 2015 in the 800m and represented South Africa at the World Championships. Van Rensburg has come a long way and the lessons learned in 2015 will be on display on Friday when he lines up in the 800m. He will be hard to beat and Kovsies will be looking maximum points from him.
Kovsies will also hope to rake in points in the women’s 100m hurdles through Ansulet Potgieter who has a best of 13.64sec.
The women’s 100m features the exciting prospect of Tamsin Thomas, running for UWC and Tuks athlete Julia du Plessis will be favourite in the women’s high jump.
The action starts at 16h30 with Men’s Hammer Throw and concludes with the Hostels Relay at 20h20.
By Manfred Seidler