Thando Roto and Tatjana Schoenmaker earn silver medals for SA at 2017 Summer Universiade
Second only to the Olympics, the Summer Universiade takes place every two years and sees more than 9000 student-athletes from over 170 countries compete across a range of sport codes. The South Africa students are able to attend the games thanks to significant contributions by the USC (University Sports Company) and Varsity Sports.
In 2017, South Africa sent over a strong team, consisting of a significant number of Varsity Sports athletes, many of who have taken part in the 2016 Olympic games and more recently the 2017 World Championships. These athletes are taking part in athletics, football, women’s football and a number of other sports codes.
Though it has been tough going for the SA athletes so far in the competition, Thando Roto and Tatjana Schoenmaker have earned SA their first two medals – both silvers. Tatjana Schoenmaker set a new best time of 2:24.61 in the 200m breaststroke to earn SA’s first medal, while Roto finished his 100m final in a time of 10.24 to claim second spot and bag a second medal for the South Africans.
— Varsity Sports (@varsitysportsSA) August 24, 2017
The South African women’s football team beat USA 1-0 to reach the competition semi-finals while Justine Palframan qualified for the 400m final in a time of 52.12. Palframan, who is taking part in her fourth and final Summer Universiade, said that experience in the competition has helped her to keep calm on the track.
“In the first one I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect,” said Palframan. “I’d never been in a village before with all the sporting codes, whereas now I know what to expect. But then I was just coming for the experience, because I was young, whereas now there’s a pressure for me to perform.”
Palframan has fond memories of her time at the Universiade.
“My fondest memory was when I won the 400 in the last one [2015 Summer Universiade] and I remember looking at the time as I crossed the line and I was shocked because I didn’t expect it, which was quite special.”
South Africa are currently in 35th place on the medal list, but have a number of athletes and teams in contention for podium finishes.
Keep up to date on Twitter by following @USSAstudent.