With 2020 marking the start of a new decade, many reputed publications have put out ‘best of the 2010s’ lists, and the advent of Varsity Sports during the decade many alumni are making appearances.
That certainly is the case with previous Varsity Athletics competitors, as three men feature prominently on T&FN’s famous World Rankings. Annually, T&FN get their international panel of experts to put their heads together with their most recent ‘pow-wow’ ordering the Top 10 men in each of the standard individual events for the second decade of the century.
Most significantly, they placed Wayde van Niekerk at Number 1 on their 400m list. Their justification for the former UFS student, who ran in the 2014 Varsity Athletics meetings (when he set the competition’s record of 45.16 at UJ Stadium) read as follows: low in points scored, but his three high-end seasons combined with the world record were enough to propel him to the fore.
Nijel Amos, who participated at Varsity Athletics in 2013 and 2014 while studying at NWU, finished in second place on the list (behind Kenya’s David Rudisha) of best 800m runners during the 2010s. Counting against the Botswana runner, undoubtedly, has been his inability to win big at major championships despite always featuring strongly in the build-up or during heats at the actual event.
Considering their pre-eminence is not a surprise that both Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai crack the nod for the best long jumpers of the previous decade. Manyonga, a former Tuks student, is listed at number three but he didn’t ever compete in Varsity Athletics. Samaai, who set the record while competing for UJ between 2013-16, did and is down in tenth place.
Varsity Athletics 2020 is scheduled for Friday, 20 March at TuksAthletics Stadium. Visit @varsitysportsSA on social media for more information in the build-up to the meeting – #FasterFurtherHigher.