NMMU-Madibaz field athlete Ischke Senekal will be pushing for a strong performance at the University Sport South Africa (USSA) athletics championships taking place in Polokwane this weekend.
The meeting, which is the last major competition of the season, provides an opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, something which Senekal will be focusing on.
Madibaz athletics manager Nellis Bothma said Senekal would be aiming high.
“She will try to qualify for the Olympic team and achieve gold medals in the discus and shot put disciplines.”
The 23-year-old former Brandwag pupil has regularly featured among the top field athletes in South Africa and took discus gold at the African junior championships in 2011 and at the Zone VI U20 Youth Games in Zambia in 2012.
Bothma said there would be several other Madibaz athletes also looking for a win.
“We have Bianca Blom in the hammer throw, Cherise Sims in the 3 000m steeplechase and Cayla Seddon who will again try to qualify for world juniors in the 100m hurdles.”
Bothma said that among the men, Mariano Eesou and Lwazi Mkhaliphi would be chasing medals in the 5 000m and 10 000m, while Garth Ellis would try to improve his personal best of 2.15m in the high jump.
“We are also expecting our sprinters to perform in the relays and in the long jump Divan Manuel is aiming to clear the 7.50m mark.”
Bothma said the athletes had done six months of preparations and were ready for the challenge on April 29-30.
“Our athletes have competed in the provincial and national championships as well as the Varsity Athletics series and are fully prepared.”
Bothma said that even though they would be competing at altitude, which made it more difficult for the long-distance runners, the athletes were ready to show their potential.
“Our athletes know what to expect and where they need to improve.”