Combrink was full of praise for both his coaching staff and training group, without whom he feels he would not have been able to achieve his personal best on the day.

On the track 100m hurdler, Rikenette Steenkamp, and 100m women’s sprinter, Tebogo Mamatu, ran Varsity Athletics records. Talks had centred on Steenkamp in the proceedings of the day’s events, who, as of 25 March, is the second fastest South African female hurdler of all time. On 31 March she broke her own Varsity Athletics record with a time of 13.21 seconds beating her previous record of 13.24s. Steenkamp was awarded the honour of Victrix Ludorum, bestowed on the overall woman champion of the competition, during the prize-giving celebrations. Her string of wins comes after a two year absence, recovering from a recurring foot problem. Steenkamp, speaking to Perdeby, said that although she was happy and grateful for her win, she would have liked to have run faster and that her main goal for the season is “to be consistent in running good races”. Tebogo Mamatu, who ran a record shattering time of 11.48 seconds, broke the Varsity Athletics record set at 11.71 seconds by Melissa Hewitt from North-West University. Mamatu said that although she is happy with her result and that she enjoyed competing, she too would have liked to have run faster. Sprint sensation Gift Leotlela equalled his own SA Junior record at 10.12 seconds. Leotlela was awarded the honour of Victor Ludorum. In the men’s 400m final, 23-year-old Constant Pretorius ran a winning time of 50.81 seconds. His nearest competitor, Kefilwe Mogawane from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) ran a time of 51.18 seconds. Pretorius told Perdeby that all though he had a bad start due to his block slipping, he had a strong finish. He also said that he is happy with his result and that he is having a very good season: “Two weeks ago I ran my personal best by half a second, so that’s 49.5…I’m currently…ranked number eight in the world”. In the past two months South African athletics has confirmed its authority as possibly the best performing sporting code in the country, with athletes from the University of Pretoria among those leading the way.

 

Photo: Stefan Stander.

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