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UJ primed to defend athletics title

By in Sport, Leisure on April 28, 2016

Defending champions University of Johannesburg are fully motivated to secure another title when the University South Africa Sport (Ussa) athletics championships take place in Polokwane from April 29 to 30.

Last year the UJ athletes took the honours for first time in 10 years and head coach Emmarie Fouche said this week they were well prepared to defend the title.

Besides bragging rights being at stake, the Ussa champs will offer the athletes another chance to achieve qualifying times for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this year.

Fouche said their preparations for the tournament had gone very well and they would be working hard to stay on top of varsity athletics.

“I don’t want to mention any names in particular as that can create a bit of pressure, but our athletes are ready for the competition,” said Fouche.

“There is a good spirit in the team and the students are keen to do well and to be part of a winning team.”

Winning the title last year had given the team a taste of success and the motivation was strong to stay on top, said Fouche.

She identified the universities of Pretoria and North-West as potential rivals and felt Free State would also be in the mix.

“In these champs a lot depends on the depth of your team because you get points for the top eight positions,” said Fouche.

“So the better your depth, obviously the better your chances will be.”

With it being the last competition of the South African season, she said the Ussa champs would be an important qualifying event for the Olympics and therefore provide further incentive for the athletes to excel.