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Sport
Matie excellence at CUCSA Games

It wasn’t all rest and no play for some Maties this holiday.

Wynand du Toit (20), a sports science student, and Gardeo Isaacs (19), a BCom investment management student at Stellenbosch University (SU), brought home gold medals from the CUCSA (Confederation of University and College Sports Associations) Games over the June-July break.

Held in Gaborone, Botswana, the CUCSA Games invite the best university athletes from 10 Southern African countries to compete in sports ranging from athletics to volleyball.

Du Toit and Isaacs both compete in 400 m sprints, and Du Toit competes in 400 m hurdles too. Isaacs took second place in the 400 m sprint at the games, while Du Toit, unfortunately, was recovering from a stomach bug.

To add insult to Du Toit’s injury, the 400 m hurdles event was cancelled as there weren’t enough competitors for the event to qualify as a “medal event”.

Despite these setbacks, Du Toit and Isaacs were part of the South African team that took the gold medal home for the 4x400 m relay. This event was not without its challenges, and despite a dropped baton during the race they managed to come in first.

“There’s nothing to match representing your country and bringing back a gold medal,” said Isaacs.

“It was so exciting, it was like the race of the games,” added Du Toit.

A student of Potchefstroom, one from Tshwane University of Technology and the two Maties made up the winning South African team.

According to Du Toit, the atmosphere at the games was one of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

“The number one student is Zakithi Nene of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. We have a good rivalry, he wins one and then I win one. And that’s good to have, because it’s not fun having bad blood between one another.”

Du Toit and Isaacs have no plans to slow down, their sights set firmly on the World Student Games set to take place next year in Napoli, Italy.

“I’m already under the qualifying standard for the 400 m,” says Du Toit, in anticipation of qualifying for the games “and for hurdles it’s about 50 splits, but you still have to be in the top two South African students, as they usually take only two.”

Du Toit is currently ranked second of all university competitors for the 400 m sprints and is sixth overall in the country.

Despite the second semester having only just started at SU, Du Toit and Isaacs are already back on the athletics track and training as hard as ever.

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