National long jumper Ruswahl Samaai won the Sportsman of the Year title for the second time in a row when the University of Johannesburg sports awards gala function was held at the Johannesburg Country Club last night.
Samaai, who hails from Paarl, received the accolade on the back of his bronze medal in the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London when he jumped 8.35 metres.
Meanwhile, squash star Alexa Pienaar shone brightly by being named the Sportswoman of the Year, as well as receiving the student-athlete award for excelling in sport and academics.
After representing South Africa in the Olympic Games last year, Samaai, a third-year transportation management student, excelled in international competition this year.
He added a first place and three seconds in the Diamond League series to his London success.
Runner-up in the men’s category was long jumper Andrea Dalle Ave, who won the national disabled title, while the bronze medal was shared by hockey star Brynn Cleak and para-athlete sprinter Sheldon Thomas.
Pienaar, a fine art student, earned her University Sport South Africa colours after the UJ squash team won their sixth title in a row at the annual Ussa week.
She attended the World University Championships in Malaysia and finished as the third-ranked player in this year’s SA Open.
Second in the women’s category was soccer star and UJ captain Thato Letsoso and the bronze medal went to triple jumper and Ussa champion Patience Ntshingila.
In the student-athlete category, which combines academic marks and sporting achievement, Pienaar averaged 74 per cent in her fine art national diploma.
The silver medal went to another squash player, Kyle Maree, who has averaged 72.8 per cent over two years and captained the Ussa team at the World University Championships.
Bronze was shared by walker and education student Anel Oosthuizen and rugby player and building science student Wian Conradie who both achieved an average of 72.8 per cent.