UJ goes for gold

Photo: Supplied. Johan Scholtz, coach Pierre Blignaut, and gold medallist Leandri Geel.

Scholtz sailed ahead of his nearest rivals with a winning throw of 57.57m, beating his previous personal best of 56.76m in the process.

Fellow UJ student and triple jumper Zinzi Chabangu came within 12cm of her own SA record to land a jump of 13.03m and the bronze medal in that event.

Another first-year field athlete, Wanzel Breytenbach, joined her classmates for a respectable fifth-place finish in the shot-put with a heave of 11.73m.

“The weather was perfect and the crowd was amazing, cheering us on while we participated in our events,” Scholtz said.

Scholtz explained that it had been a privilege to be able to compete for his country at international level.

“I wasn’t familiar with my competitors and when we arrived at the stadium, the adrenaline began to pump and I was a bit nervous. It was soon clear that the athletes from Egypt would be my biggest challengers on the day,” he said.

His predictions proved correct as that country’s Hassan Elshabrawy took silver with a distance of 54.74m, while fellow South African Jason van Rooyen rounded out the podium for a throw of 52.68m.

“My aspiration is to throw 60m by the end of the year, and then, like every athlete, my dream is to compete in the Olympic Games,” he said.

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