Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
BRUINTJIES WITHDRAWS FROM WORLD STUDENT GAMES
The national university athletics team was dealt a blow on Tuesday after it was confirmed that in-form sprinter Henricho Bruintjies had pulled out on the eve of the World Student Games in Gwangju.
The 21-year-old athlete was expected to spearhead the SA 4x100m relay quartet with fellow Tuks speedster Akani Simbine, but team management said on Tuesday he had picked up a gluteal strain.
“He’s arriving home today, and then we’ll know more, but it seems like it could be more an issue of stiffness than a strain,” said Bruintjies’ coach, Hennie Kriel.
“It doesn’t seem serious but we’ll have to assess him over the next few days.”
Bruintjies, who set the SA 100m record of 9.97 seconds at the Resisprint International meeting in Switzerland on Sunday, reached his best form after the student team was selected and was included only in the 4x100m relay, and not the individual short sprint.
In his absence, Simbine, who clocked 9.99 in Slovenia last week, is expected to anchor the relay squad at the Games, which also includes Gideon Trotter, Ncinci Titi and Eckhardt Rossouw.
The athletics competition at the biennial multi-sport spectacle gets under way on Wednesday, with distance runner Gladwin Mzazi set to lead the relatively young squad.
Mzazi, who bagged the 10 000m title in Belgrade in 2009 and won the individual and team half-marathon crowns in Kazan two years ago, will hope to bag his fourth gold medal at the biennial Games.
The long-distance runner from Pretoria is the only individual SA medallist from the 2013 student showpiece who will return for this edition.
However, three 4x400m relay medallists from the previous Games – Justine Palframan, Anneri Ebersohn and Pieter Conradie – are back in the team, which is further bolstered by the likes of Commonwealth Games long jump silver medallist Zarck Visser.
Of the 14 medals South Africa earned in Kazan in 2013, 11 were achieved in track and field and road running, and with the rowing and swimming teams unable to bag a single medal in the first five days of competition in Gwangju, plenty of hopes will be resting on the athletics contingent to stand up and deliver.
SA athletics team for the World Student Games in Gwangju, South Korea (July 8-12, 2015):
Men: Thabang Masihlelo (CUT Welkom), Russell Tucker (Monash), Mariano Eesou (NMMU), Zolani Ngqaqa (NMMU), Lucas Bothobutle (NWU-Pukke), Pieter Conradie (NWU-Pukke), Shaun de Jager (Maties), Akani Simbine (Tuks), Chad Herman (Tuks), Eckhardt Rossouw (Tuks), Fredriech Pretorius (Tuks), Jon Seeliger (Tuks), Le Roux Hamman (Tuks), Mpho Links (Tuks), Reneilwe Aphane (Tuks), Gladwin Mzazi (TUT), Rynardt van Rensburg (UFS), Gideon Trotter (UFS), Dumisane Hlaselo (UJ), Jaco Engelbrecht (UJ), Zarck Visser (UJ), Roelf Pienaar (Arkansas State), Renaldo Frechou (South Alabama), Ncinci Titi (South Carolina)
Women: Ischke Senekal (NMMU), Laune Meyer (NWU-Pukke), Melissa Hewitt (NWU-Pukke), Justine Palframan (Maties), Samantha Pretorius (Maties), Anneri Ebersohn (Tuks), Anushca Nice (Tuks), Lindsay Hanekom (Tuks), Margaret Olwoch (Tuks), Murendwa Davhana (TUT), Portia Ngwenya (TUT), Thembi Baloyi (TUT), Mamphielo Sibanda (UJ), Patience Ntshingila (UJ), Zinzi Chabangu (UJ), Bevin Smith (UFS), Arlene Gowar (Brigham Young)