UWC have selected a squad of 29 track and field stars for the championships which will take place at UJ Stadium from 13-15 May.
Back in 2019, at Coetzenburg Stadium in Stellenbosch, UWC’s student-athletes bagged a total of 11 medals to finish sixth on the standings. Five of those were gold with the other six split evenly between silver and bronze. As it happens, two of the gold medallists will be looking to defend their USSA titles in Johannesburg, namely Ashley Smith and Anthony Timoteus.
Smith, who recently claimed the national 3000m steeplechase title, is the defending USSA champion in that discipline and the 1500m - but is only scheduled to compete in his favoured event in Johannesburg. Timoteus, meanwhile, will be looking to claim the 5000m honours outright this time around – after finishing in a dead-heat for gold in 2019 alongside erstwhile UWC teammate Rowhaldo Ratz. He will also run in the 10 000m.
The only women’s medallist from 2019, who will make the trip north this time is Geraldine King, who will hope to upgrade the silver she claimed in the heptathlon.
All told, 16 men and 13 women have been selected to don UWC's blue and gold at the championships. Among the men, six are returnees with Smith and Timoteus having familiar company in sprinters Rodwell Ndlovu and Azile Madini as well as middle-distance runner Jason Neels and long jumper Bevan Sasman. King and sprinter Chelsea Samuels are the only women who competed two years back in Stellenbosch.
UWC's USSA Athletics 2021 Squad
Men: Ruchen Blaauw (1500m / 5000m), Jesse Josias (100m / 200m), Merlin Klaaste (3000m steeplechase / half marathon), Jason Koopman (3000m steeplechase / half marathon), Azile Madini (110m hurdles), Rodwell Ndlovu (100m / 200m / 400m), Jason Neels (800m / 1500m), Nigel Nyashanu (200m / 400m), Gianno Peddy (100m / 200m), Bevan Sasman (long jump), Ashley Smith (3000m steeplechase), Thomas Struis (3000m steeplechase / half marathon), Kananelo Thulo (10 000m / half marathon), Anthony Timoteus (5000m / 10 000m), Mitchell van Rooyen (200m / 400m), Nadeel Wildschutt (1500m / 10 000m).
Women: Annique Arendse (1500m), Laure Byman (100m / 200m), Ameerah Donough (heptathlon), Tamzyn Groenewald (100m / 200m), Lawon Hill (100m / 200m), Alecia Keys (100m / 200m), Geraldine King (heptathlon), Kaylin Klerk (100m / 200m), Gabrielle Lazarus (heptathlon), Chelsea Rhode (100m / 200m), Assnique Robinson (800m / 1500m), Chelsea Samuels (100m / 200m), Courtney van Heerden (200m / 400m).
To keep track of UWC’s student-athletes during the USSA Athletics Championships follow UWC Sport’s social media channels. The action will also be live-streamed on YouTube by Backtrack.