ZENNA MULLER The USSA Student Championships were held at the University of Johannesburg on 27 and 28 April, where students and other top athletes competed for another chance at joining the South African Olympic Squad. The track and field championships were held on Kingsway campus in Westdene. Athletes competed at one of just three IAAF-registered tracks in South Africa. UJ athletics manager, Thabiso Moletsane, said, “It’s actually the fastest track in the country at the moment, so we’re expecting some good performances.” The various athletes had to qualify in four rounds to make it to the finals. On the first day, long-jump athlete Mpho Maputha came in third place with a distance of 7.66m. Hannes Dreyer came second in the final men’s 100m race. Claudia Viljoen ran gold in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.65 seconds. Anneri Ebersohn came first in the women’s 400m with a time of 54.10 seconds. Cherese Jones came second to Pukke’s Tsholofelo Thipe in the women’s 100m finals. Sonia Smuts won the women’s shot put with a distance of 14.94m. On the second day, teammates PC Beneke and Le Roux Hamman placed first and second in the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 50.67 and 51.14 seconds respectively. Anneri Ebersohn came second with a time of 57.11seconds to Maties’ Janet Lawless’s 56.96 seconds. Monja Goosen placed third in the final women’s long jump with a distance of 6.08m. The Tuks 4x400m men’s team came in first with a time of 3:07.73 seconds. Tuks’s 4x400m team also came in first place with a time of 3:47.60 seconds. Electronic timing malfunctioning denied two 200m sprinters, Thuso Mpuang and Simon Magakwe, the chance to set new personal best times. Athletes have until 30 June to qualify for the Olympics. Photos: Jaco Joubert

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