The squad in blue and gold - under the tutelage of Glen Bentley - were among 20 universities to compete at the two-day championships hosted by University of the Free State (UFS), the defending champions from the last time the event was held in 2019 in Nelspruit – where UWC finished fourth.
Day 1 started promising enough for UWC as Anthony Timotheus’s 11:56 claimed a silver medal in the men’s 4km, pipped to the finish line by UFS’s Pakiso Mthembu (11:52) - pictured. The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Mmakwena Kgadima took bronze, three seconds further back.
UWC’s cumulative effort also saw them secure silver in the 4km team standings, behind University of Johannesburg (UJ), courtesy of their second, sixth, 11th and 12th place finishes. UFS took third.
As it happens, on day 2, the squad were only able to add another silver medal, this time by the men’s 4x4km relay team, to their tally to finish with three so-near-yet-so-far medals. Nonetheless, the championships did mark a first for the women’s contingent who will look to go from strength to strength both locally and in competition.
All told, UJ were the dominant squad in Bloemfontein, reclaiming the overall title they won in 2018 courtesy of 10 medals overall (including six of the 10 golds on offer). Next best was (UP, with two of their four medals being gold, while UFS in third and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) behind them sharing the remaining two gold medals.
Images courtesy UWC Sport