Tamzin Thomas left for Taipei this week, more ready than ever to represent South Africa at the World Student Games, known as the Summer Universiade.
The 20-year-old University of the Western Cape (UWC) sprinter had spent July in her first European season at a training camp in Italy, an experience she described as a confidence booster.
“The place where we were based in Genoa was quite isolated. There was no shopping mall, no McDonald’s, and no distractions. There was only the river where you can go and do ice boarding - and there was the training, of course.”
The Michell’s Plain-born Thomas, who is doing her first year of study towards her BA degree at UWC, was among a group of about 20 up-and-coming and seasoned athletes from all over the country who were selected for the prestigious camp based on their previous performance. In addition to the rigorous training, they also took part in weekly races involving other athletes from Europe and other parts of the world, in which Thomas did rather well.
It was definitely a learning experience for the young athlete.
“I learnt a lot about eating better and looking after myself, and I also realised that recovery is important to get ready for the next competition.”
Thomas said the camp had inspired her to make a number of changes to her programme.
“I have adopted what is called the three Rs: I rest more, I rebuild by eating more, and I recover faster. And my body is now coping very well with training. I’m quite excited and I feel strong and ready for the World Student Games.”
Thomas has more than made her mark on the athletics track.
She is the South African and African junior 100m and 200m champion, and has represented her country at a number of international races - notably the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships in Ukraine and IAAF World U20 Championships in Poland last year. Her twin sister, Tamlyn Thomas, is also excelling in sport while studying at UWC, having just returned from representing South Africa at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Nanjing, China.
Thomas is the only student from UWC representing the athletics sporting code in the South African Team for the Summer Universiade. Other UDubs sportspeople in the team, however, include rising female footballers Abongile Dlani, Thembi Kgatlana and Thalea Smidt, as well as male soccer star Renaldo Leaner, and water polo sensation, Chad Roman.
The World Student Games will take place from 19 to 30 August 2017.
STUDENT-ATHLETE FACTS: Tamzin Thomas
Full name: Tamzin Thomas
Born: 6/10/1997 in Mitchell's Plain
High School: Western Cape Sport School (2011-15)
Disciplines: 100m (11,53 personal best), 200m (23,35 personal best)
Honours: South African U16 100m champion (2012), South African U18 100m champion (2013), African Junior 100m champion (2015), South African Junior 100m & 200m champion (2015), South African U20 100m & 200m champion (2016), African 4x100m Relay champion (2016), USSA 100m champion (2017)
Representative events: IAAF World Youth Championships (2013), African U20 Championships, African Junior Championships (2015), IAAF World U20 Championships (2016), African Championships (2016), Summer Universiade (2017)
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