International Sport

UP hurdles: LJ van Zyl and Le Roux Hamman

UP hurdlers LJ van Zyl and Le Roux Hamman competed at the Rio Olympic Games. Van Zyl managed to finish fifth in the semi-finals, and first time Olympian Hamman finished seventh in his heat. Van Zyl was given lane three in his semi-final and was competing against a lineup with Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, Turkey’s Yasmani Copello and Jamaica’s Annsert Whyte. Van Zyl started the race with a steady pace over the first 250 m to keep up with the favourites and looked set to qualify for the final, but ran out of steam over the final stretch as Whyte and Culson made their move. Whyte won the semi-final with a time of 48.32 s and Van Zyl finished fifth with a time of 49 s. Van Zyl will now focus on the World Championships in London in 2017.

Read more: UP hurdles: LJ van Zyl and Le Roux Hamman

Murray Coetzee discusses upcoming Red Bull Campus Cricket

The annual Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament is nearly here. Some of the best varsity cricket teams from around the globe will assemble in Sri Lanka from 5-11 September. UP-Tuks enter this year’s tournament as two-time defending champions. UP will attempt to win it for an unprecedented third consecutive time, which would affirm the team as arguably the dominant varsity side in world cricket. UP cricket captain, Murray Coetzee, shared his thoughts on the upcoming tournament.

Read more: Murray Coetzee discusses upcoming Red Bull Campus Cricket

Akani Simbine makes SA history in Olympic final

UP sprinter Akani Simbine narrowly missed out on a podium finish when he placed fifth in the 100 m final at the Rio Olympics.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt took his third gold medal in the 100 m Olympic finals with a time of 9.81 s. USA’s Justin Gatlin took silver, crossing in a time of 9.89 s and Canada’s Andre de Grasse took bronze with a time of 9.91 s. Simbine was fast out of the blocks and by the 50 m mark looked on course for a medal, running neck and neck with Gatlin, who led at that stage. Bolt started in typical slow fashion but after the halfway mark powered his way through for the gold. Simbine could not sustain his pace and was overtaken by both Gatlin and De Grasse after the 50 m mark.

He still made history, however, by becoming the first South African male sprinter to make it into the final of the 100 m since South Africa’s readmission to the Olympic Games. Simbine qualified for the final as one of the two fastest sprinters outside of the top two in their respective semi-finals.


Image: Akani Simbine’s Twitter page.

Cameron van der Burgh wins silver in Rio


South Africa’s first medal at this year’s Rio Olympics came from Cameron van der Burgh. Van der Burgh returned as the defending 100 m breaststroke champion from the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The two-time Olympian took the silver medal in the men’s 100 m breaststroke on Sunday 8 August in a time of 58.69 s, behind Great Britain’s Adam Peaty who took gold in a world record time of 57.13 s.

Read more: Cameron van der Burgh wins silver in Rio

Rowing in Rio de Janeiro

South African rowing duo and UP High Performance Centre athletes John Smith and James Thompson narrowly missed out on a podium finish as they finished fourth in the lightweight double sculls final.

The duo’s time of 6:33.29 min was not enough to get a medal as they finished behind France’s Pierre Houin and Jeremie Azou, who grabbed the gold medal, Ireland’s Gary and Paul O’Donovan who finished second, and Norway’s Brun Kristoffer and Strandli Are who narrowly beat the South Africans to the bronze medal.

Read more: Rowing in Rio de Janeiro

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