08 April 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer
Vicky Oelofse
Vicky Oelofse, a first-year student, celebrates her victory in the 3 000 m at the Athletics South Africa U18 and U20 Championships.


There were records and medals in abundance for a couple of the University of the Free State athletes at national events towards the end of March.

All but one of the athletes who competed at the Athletics South Africa U18 and U20 Championships, returned with a medal – three of them gold.

Colette Uys (discus, 45,97 m), Vicky Oelofse (3 000 m, 09:51,69), and Tharina van der Walt (hammer throw, 50,13 m) bagged gold in Paarl, while James Havinga (63,14) ended third in the hammer throw.

All of them competed in the U20 category.

Both Uys (discus, 12,18 m) and Oelofse (1 500 m, 04:34,86) came within a whisker of earning a second medal. They ended fourth, with a distance and time that was only just slower and shorter than the bronze-medal winners.

At the SASAPD National Championships for physically disabled and visually impaired athletes in Stellenbosch, Louzanne Coetzee and Danie Breitenbach (both completely blind) were two of the very best performers.

Coetzee and her guide, Xavier Adams, completed the 5 000 m, 1 500 m, and 800 m in first place. In the 1 500 m, she set a new event record with a time of 05:04,52, which was quick enough to earn her qualification for both the Para World Champs later in the year and for next year’s Paralympic Games.

Breitenbach and his guide, Oratile Molale, set a new South African record in both the 800 m and 1 500 m.

Moeketsi Mahlatsi won a silver in the shot-put and discus (unilateral upper-limb impairment).

At the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships in Denmark, Pakiso Mthembu was South Africa’s second-best senior male athlete, finishing in 59th place.




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