With eight gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) athletes booked a third spot on the overall medal standings in the 2022 University Sport South Africa (USSA) in Cape Town this past weekend, 5 to 7 May 2022.
It was the usual medal winners who put UJ in top 3 finish. Nkosinathi Sibiya, Ryan Mphahele, Maxime Chaumeton, Tshwanelo Aobobe, Zinzi Xulu, Jason van Rooyen and Werner Visser as well as Leandri Geel registered podium finishes at the University of Western Cape (UWC). UJ scooped 25 medals in total.
“I am super proud of the entire team’s efforts. I thank them for putting in a good performance spirit. I am also a bit heartbroken that we have lost a few medals that we could have claimed for Team UJ due to unforeseen circumstances – but that’s sport for you,” says Roger Haitengi, Manager and Coach: UJ Athletics Club.
Haitengi adds, “I know that the guys will come back stronger in the next USSAs. The performances and results of this year’s championships will fuel them to do even better that they did. Our focus now shifts to the continental meets and cross country in the coming months.”
In 2021, UJ finished in second position on the medal overall standings with 24 medals. This year, the Orange Army (UJ) slipped down to third position with the University of North West tucked in second position between UJ and University of Pretoria in first position.
“This win means a lot to me. It shows that I am still in line with the progress I was anticipating this season. I faced tough competition competing against two of the best high jumpers in Africa and I was focusing on just doing my best. I’m proud of my achievement,” says Tswanelo Aabode, a fourth-year UJ student-athlete who is enrolled in an advanced diploma in Transport Management.
Aabobe is a Botswanan international who scooped bronze and gold medals in high and long jump, respectively, in the 2021 USSA championships held at UJ Athletics Stadium in Westdene.
The results were as follows:
-Nkosinathi Sibiya won the 800m in a time of 1:50:54
-Ryan Mphahlele won the 1500m in a time of 3:49:51
-Maxime Chaumeton won the 5000m in a time of 14:07:57
-Tswanelo Aabode won the high jump in a height of 2.15m
-Zinzi Xulu won the triple in a distance of 13.25m
-Jason Van Rooyen won the shot put with a 17.83m throw
-Werner Visser won the discuss with a 57.07m throw
-Liandri Geel won the hammer throw with a 59.53m throw.
“There was no competition, so I anticipated to win. It was a pretty straight forward weekend,” says van Rooyen, second-year BTCE Studies student.