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UJ athletes raised SA and UJ flags in Australia’s Commonwealth Games

UJ athletes raise SA and UJ flags at Commonwealth Games in Australia

A team of University of Johannesburg (UJ) alumni, staff and students raised the South African flag high in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia in April 2018. Participating in two categories, athletics and men's and women's hockey, the ten UJ athletes have competed at the highest world championships in Europe, South America, Asia and the African continent. In the men's athletics team was Ruswahl Samaai (student), Roger Haitengi (staff, Namibia), and Anthony Mwanga (student, Tanzania).

Samaai, from Paarl in the Western Cape, won a bronze medal with a 8.22m leap on Wednesday, 11 April 2018. He emerged third with fellow South African athlete Luvo Manyonga taking gold, and Australia's Henry Frayne (8.33m) in second place in the competition.

Samaai represented Team South Africa in a number of international championships including the 2016 Rio Olympics and the Student Games in China.

Samaai won the 2017 UJ Sportsman of the Year award for the second year in a row after claiming a bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in London in August 2017 with a leap of 8.35 metres.

The hockey squad included Gareth Heyns, Tyson Dlungwana, Owen Mvimbi (alumni), Clinton Panther (alumni) in the men's team, and Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (alumni), Kristen Paton (student), Bernadette Coston (alumni) in the women's team. Team SA also boasted a formidable team of athletes such as Caster Semenya, Luvo Manyonga, Akani Simbine, and Anaso Jobodwana, among many others.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal congratulated the athletes for participating in the Games. “The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games recently ended. Our South African team performed well in the competition, ranking sixth on the medals table (with 37 medals in total), and was the leading African country in the top ten. What made the Games particularly meaningful for me is that a number of UJ staff and students participated in the Games. Thank you for flying the UJ and SA flags high!,” said Prof Marwala.