Thando Roto stole the show at the first 2017 Varsity Athletics Meeting in Potchefstroom when he smashed his 100m Personal Best by 0.09sec to clock 10.18sec for a win for Tuks in near wind still conditions.
“I’m injury free and after running that sub 10, even though it was wind assisted, I am confident going forward.”
Roto had clocked 9.98sec in Johannesburg on 18 February with a tailwind of 2.9m/sec. “My next race will be the AGN champs on 18 March. All his preparations are aimed at the SA championships in Potchefstroom in April.
Hennie Kriel, coach of Roto, had a very successful evening as first Rikenette Steenkamp and then Tlotliso Gift Leotlela ran rampant in the Women’s 100m hurdles and 200m Men’s respectively. For Steenkamp it was an eventful meeting. She won the 100m hurdles women’s race in 13.61sec after stuttering at the 5th hurdle. It turns out that the hurdle was placed incorrectly and the race was rerun some 50 minutes later.
Steenkamp romped home in 13.24sec ahead of Kovsies Maryke Brits’ 13.65sec. “It was tough running two races in less than an hour, but I am very happy. I’m in good shape and am looking forward to racing again injury free.”
The 13.24sec is a Varsity Athletics Record of 13.48sec, one of seven Varsity Athletics Records to be broken on the night. Steenkamp next lines up in the ASA Speed Series Meet in Bloemfontein on 8 March in the women 100m hurdles.
Tlotliso GIft Leotlela made a huge statement in his first race of the season. “My legs were a bit stiff from the drive from Pretoria, but I felt I executed my race well”. You can hardly argue with that that comment when his 20.50sec winning time was his second best ever. He ran 20.47sec in Lusaka in 2016. Leotlela was already in the lead coming off the bend and powered away from Hendrick Maartens of Kovies (20.78sec) with training partner Wally Ungerer taking third (21.38sc). Leotlela shattered the Varsity Athletics Record of 20.66sec.
There as a bit of an upset in the men’s 800m as PUKKE,s Henco UYs beat the favorites Rynhardt van Rensburg and Junior, George Kusche. Uys ran the perfect race, taking the bell in 53sec with Kusche right on his heels. Van Rensburg, who had been doing altitude training in Lesotho not too long ago, had nothing in the tank and had to settle for second in 1:50.49 with Kusche clocking 1:50.64. Uys winning in 1:49.87
Rantso Mokopane won the men’s 1500m race for the hosts, clocking 3:46.48 after 5000m Olympian, Elroy Gelant set the pace for the first 1200m. Mokopane broke the previous Varsity Athletics Record of 3:49.42.
The finals of the Varsity Athletics takes place on 31 March at the University of Pretoria.
Division A (Top 15 Average score used in brackets)
1 Tuks 15604 (1040)
2 Pukke 15252 (1017)
3 Kovsies 14902 (993)
4 UJ 14857 (990)
5 Maties 14317 (954)
6 UWC 14068 (938)
7 Madibaz 13721 (915)
8 TUT 13463 (898)
Division B (Top 10 Average score used in brackets)
1 UCT 7679 (768)
2 VUT 7255 (726)
3 CUT 6107 (611)
4 UL 4611 (659)
For individual results visit www.varsitysportssa.com
By Manfred Seidler