The 29th World Student Games came to a conclusion on 30 August in Taipei City, Taiwan, with a number of South African athletes putting on some noteworthy performances.
Team SA had male and female athletes and teams competing in nine different sporting disciplines including athletics, swimming, football, table tennis, waterpolo and badminton.
The UP athletes set the standards for their fellow participants early on in the competition, as swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker grabbed team SA’s first medal of the championship on 24 August, when she placed second in the women’s 200m Butterfly event, with a personal best time of 2:24:15, while Japan’s Kanako Watanbe claimed the gold, and Russia’s Mariia Temnikov made it onto the podium with a third place finish.
Team SA’s next medal was won on the track the following day as 22 year old sprinting prodigy Thando Roto raced to a second place finish in the men’s 100m final. The UP athlete, who earlier in year recorded a stellar 9.95 personal best at the Gauteng Championships, finished in a time of 10.24 seconds behind China’s Yang Chun-Han.
The medal-winning performance of the Tuks athletes seemed to encourage other members of team SA, as Stellenbosch University’s hurdler Justine Palframan continued the silver trend with a second place finish in the women’s 400m, securing the country’s third medal at the games.
The SA men’s half-marathon team consisting of Mokofane Kekana, Thabang Masihleho, Collen Mulaudzi and Mariano Eesou all finished within the top 35 competitors and claimed an overall second place finish in their event behind team Japan.
The track and field athletes continued to shine as Rantso Mokopane of the North-West University’s (NWU-Pukke) won another silver medal for Team SA in the men’s 3000m steeplechase final. Mokopane finished in a close second behind Poland’s Krystian Zalewski, whose winning time of 8:35:88 was only slightly faster than Mokopane’s time of 8:36:25.
Written by: Emmanuel Olusegun
Originally published: www.perdeby.co.za/sections/sport/5701-up-and-sa-athletes-shine-at-world-student-games