Madibaz athletics club will host the first Eastern Province track and field league meeting of 2015 at the NMMU Madibaz Stadium on February 7.
The meeting, which starts at 9am, will serve as the trials for the national student championships and Varsity Athletics teams and will also determine whether the athletes qualify for the EP teams to the senior and junior SA Athletics Championships.
Event organiser and Madibaz athletics manager Nellis Bothma said the meeting was an opportunity to recognise new talent and to see the first years in action.
Bothma said last year’s EP track and field league meeting was a great success, with over 250 athletes participating and hopes this year’s event will be as well attended.
“I hope to identify new talent for the Madibaz athletics team.
“There is strong competition in the sprint, distance and throwing events, where I expect a high standard of athletics,” he said.
According to Bothma, however, the highlight of the meeting would always be the sprint events.
He said the men’s 100m event was set for an exciting showdown between Lonwabo Majerman and newcomer Dale Williams, the province’s fastest scholar last year.
Other top athletes that will participate include Ischke Senekal (shot put and discus), Garth Ellis (high jump), Mieke Stander (hammer throw), Yolandi Willemse (discus), Mariano Eesou (1 500m), Jeannie van Dyk (pole-vault) and Kelly Kingwill (long jump and triple jump).
Madibaz athletes have been preparing for the meeting in anticipation of the upcoming Varsity Athletics tournament.
“They are dedicated and have been training nonstop throughout the holidays,” said Bothma.
He said the EP track and field meeting was a good chance for the athletes to monitor themselves and experience competition ahead of the inter-varsity tournament.
“This meeting determines whether the athletes qualify for other events like Varsity Athletics, so this is an opportunity for them to show their talent and skill and prepare themselves for the pressures and competition that come with Varsity Athletics.”
Varsity Athletics takes place from March 24 to April 27, commencing in Potchefstroom and concluding in Port Elizabeth at the Madibaz Stadium.
Bothma said that EP was becoming a force to reckon with in SA, even taking the leading position in some events and predicted a superior turnout at the meeting next month.
“The athletes have been training hard so we can expect some quality performances.”
All athletes must be licensed to participate in the meeting.
Athletes will be able to register on the track and entries will close 30 minutes before the start of each race at the entry table.
Electronic timing will be available for all sprinters.
Entrance to the meeting is free to all NMMU students, staff and athletes.
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