24 March saw the return of Varsity Athletics for its third year as athletes gathered in Potchefstroom to mark the beginning of the season. This competition consists of track and field events and sees universities compete against one another.
Tuks dominated the track events, claiming victory in all but the 3000m and 800m events, which went to North-West University (NWU-Pukke) and the University of the Free State (Kovsies) respectively. Tuks’ Akani Simbine provided one of the standout performances of the night as he sprinted to 100m victory in 10.09 seconds. The Hamman brothers, Leroux and Muntingh, also had a good outing as they both claimed the maximum nine points in their hurdle events.
The field events were also conquered by Tuks, particularly by the men who won two of their three events. Duwayne Boer pulling off what was arguably the biggest upset of night with a 15.59 m leap in the triple jump, with the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Apelele Rasmeni coming into the event as the firm favourite but having to settle for second place as he could only manage 15.56 m.
Ruan Combrink of Tuks also claimed victory in the shot put over Kovsies and UJ with a throw of 16.97 m, just short of the 17 m mark. The only event the Tuks men missed out on was the high jump as Kovsies’ Jan Steytler won with 2.10 m, Tuks’ Mpho Links claimed second place and there was a three-way tie for third between Pukke’s Christo Krause, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univerisity’s Garth Ellis and Maties’ Damien Boschoff. The ladies also did well as Chene Coetzee claimed second place in the hammer throw and Danielle Coetzee placed third in the javelin event.
Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana made an appearance at the events, expressing his approval of the competition and its athletes, saying “[South Africa] has a number of great athletes and the future looks bright.”