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26 April 2018 Photo Supplied
Strong athletics team for USSA
The 800m athlete Rynardt van Rensburg is one of several Kovsies who is expected to win a gold medal at the national student champs this weekend.

With three Olympians in their midst and a number of athletes who are serious contenders for a first place, the Kovsie athletics team looks set to make a statement at the 2018 national student champs.

The University Sport South Africa (USSA) event takes place from Friday 27 April to Sunday 29 April 2018 in Sasolburg.

Kovsies finished fifth at last year’s USSA with four gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

There were initial concerns the team might be weakened by the loss of five of their top athletes who are competing at the CAA Southern Region Youth and Junior Championships that is also taking place this weekend in Boksburg.  

Luckily for Tsebo Matsoso (200m), Pakiso Mthembu (5 000m), Tyler Beling (1 500 m) and Lara Orrock (3 000m steeplechase), their events on the USSA programme are only scheduled for Sunday which will allow them to participate in both meetings. Michaéla Wright (SA U20 long jump champion) won’t be able to compete in Sasolburg either. 

Beling and Orrock, along with Ts’epang Sello (800m and 1 500m), Kesa Molotsane (5 000m and 10 000m), Lynique Beneke (long jump), Carien Sander (400m), Hendrik Maartens (200m), Sefako Mokhosoa (triple jump), Mthembi Chauque (20km walk), Peter Makgato (long jump) and Rynardt van Rensburg (800m and 1 500m) are all realistic gold medal contestants.

Van Rensburg, Sello and Beneke have all been to the Olympic Games in 2016. Van Rensburg’s 1:46.15 last month in the 800m currently ranks 21st among the best times in 2018 on the global stage.

Beneke defended her national crown last month with a winning distance of 6.22m and Sello came very close to running her personal best in the 800m at the Commonwealth Games.

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