As usual, athletes from the North-West University (NWU) asserted themselves at the recent South African Senior Athletics Championships and the NWU’s trophy cupboard is once again bursting at the seams.
This competition took place in Pretoria from 15 to 17 April.
Athletes from the NWU won a total of 21 medals, with eight gold, four silver and nine bronze. Six personal best performances and four season bests were also achieved.
Athletes who won gold were Joné Kruger (long jump, 6,36 m), Jo-Ané van Dyk (javelin, 59,47 m), Marga Cumming (hammer throwing, 64,30 m), Riëtte Heyns (discus 55,32 m), Alan Cumming (hammer throwing, 72,78 m), Tiaan Kleynhans (110 mH, 13,62 m), Zak Nene (400 m, 45,54) and Mpho Links (high jump, 2,15 m).
Silver: Meanri Erasmus (20 km walking, 1:54:43), Johann Grobler (javelin, 80,32 m), Valco van Wyk (pole vault, 5,30 m) and Ignatius Marais (discus, 53,61 m).
Bronze: Nadja Fourie Pole (pole vault, 3,50 m), Michelle Ngozo (high jump, 1,70 m), Annette Koen (20 km walking, 1:56:53), Antonio Farmer (20 km walking, 1:34:10), Carel Haasbroek (hammer throwing, 70,53 m), Arend Pretorius (pole vault, 4,60 m), Lente Pieterse (400 m, 53,70), Pieter Conradie (400 m, 46,29 m) and Luan Munnik (1 500 m, 3:45,23).
“North West as a province captured about 30 medals, with the NWU having been responsible for the majority of them. This places things in perspective, and shows that our athletes were phenomenal. It was an incredible SAs with so many world-class performances. Tiaan Kleynhans in the 110 m hurdles was world class, and so too was Zak Nene in the 400 m. Then there were the two javelin throwers – Jo-Ané van Dyk achieved a personal best, and for the first time in her career beat Sunette Viljoen. That speaks volumes. Sunette is an Olympic medallist. Johann Grobler, who achieved a distance of 80,32, is also in this class,” says Terseus Liebenberg, the NWU’s athletics manager.
“The achievements threw considerable light on where we stand. We are looking forward to the USSAs in the middle of May. If you look at the results, you will see that Gauteng North – in other words, Tukkies – has a lot of depth. But we are ready for the intense competition between us, Tukkies and UJ. We also can never leave Kovsies out of the equation. Our athletes are looking good, they are in great form, and the respective coaches did incredible work with them,” Liebenberg. explains.
In addition, he mentions all the creative work that the coaches did during the national lockdown to get the athletes ready for competition.
“These coaches deserve a lot of credit for keeping the athletes positive and enthusiastic. Finally, I just want to mention again that we are incredibly proud of our athletes. There are also a number of athletes who just missed earning a medal.”