The 2021 Olympic Games are going ahead, and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has thirteen (13) sportswomen and men selected for the South African team that will jet off to Tokyo, Japan, in July. The University received the news on Thursday, 27 May 2021, when Team SA released its selected list of athletes and technical professionals who will represent the country in various sporting codes.
Selected current students who will raise the UJ and South African flags high include Jason van Rooyen, Cheswill Johnson, Kristen Paton and Toni Marks. The students will compete in athletics, hockey, long jump, and shotput. The UJ representatives include four students, one staff, and seven alumni.
“It gives us immense pleasure that our UJ student-athletes and staff as well as alumni have been included in the selected South African squad that will travel to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. At UJ, we pride ourselves in producing talent that contributes to the growth of the South African sports community,” says Ms Nomsa Mahlangu, Senior Director: UJ Sport.
There have been concerns that the Olympic Games may not go ahead, because of fears over the rising COVID-19 infections in the Tokyo. However, the Olympics Committee said the games would continue. However, International Olympic Committee Vice-President John Coates said they had all the plans and measures in place to protect the safety and security of athletes and the people of Japan, even if the city was under a state emergency.
“The advice we have got from the World Health Organisation and all of the scientific advice, is that all the measures we have outlined in the playbook, all those measures are satisfactory to ensure a safe and secure Games in terms of health, and that’s whether there is a state of emergency or not,” he said.
Japan has long insisted that there was no question the Games, which should have taken place last summer, would be held and will be safe.
Here are the UJ staff and student-athletes who will represent South Africa in Japan:
- Jason van Rooyen (Student)
- Cheswill Johnson (Student)
- Ruswahl Samaai – (Alumni)
- Irvette van Zyl (Van Blerk) – (Alumni)
- Lisa Deetlefs (Alumni)
- Kristen Paton (Student)
- Toni Marks (Club Member)
- Taryn Mallet (Alumni)
- Robyn Johnson (Alumni)
- Robin van Ginkel (Alumni – Head Coach)
- Taren Naidoo (Staff – Video Analyst)
- Clinton Panther (Alumni)
- Gareth Ewing (Head Coach – Former UJ Head Coach)