We are a long standing and proud sponsor of the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) TuksSport. The Scheme’s commitment to sports development allows UP to award more sports bursaries, and provide sports science and medical services to all athletes, enabling them to achieve their dreams.
This year, a number of TuksSport athletes achieved the dream of waving the South African flag high at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – bringing home gold and silver medals. Student, alumni and club athletes took part in swimming, track and field events, judo, hockey, rowing, rugby sevens and water polo. A few athletes achieved their personal bests, while others took the podium.
Tatjana Schoenmaker, a student athlete, won gold in the 200m breaststroke, setting a world record time of 2:18.95. She also won silver in the 100m breaststroke, setting an Olympic record time of 1:04.82 in the heats.
Kaylene Corbett, a fellow student athlete won the 200m breaststroke semi-final with a time of 2:22.08, setting a personal best for a second consecutive year. She finished fifth in the final with another personal best time of 2:22.06.
UP alumni and 100m athlete, Akani Simbine, was one of two TuksSport athletes to compete in the track and field finals at the Olympic Games. He finished fourth in the semi-finals with a time of 9.90s – the third-fastest time of his career. He again finished fourth in the final with a time of 9.93s, missing bronze by 0.04s.
All other 100m and 200m TuksSport sprinters raced in the semi-finals. This is a promising outcome for what can be expected at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
UP student-athlete, Kyle Blignaut, became the second South African shot putter to compete in an Olympic final, finishing in sixth place. The first South African to compete in a shotput final was Janus Robberts, who finished in seventh place in Sydney in 2000.
The successes achieved at the 2020 Olympic Games is only a fraction of TuksSport athletes’ accomplishments. At the previous two Olympic Games, TuksSport athletes won two gold, three silver and one bronze medal.
More than 100 athletes achieve Proteas Colours annually and many have also claimed the title of World Champion in various sports. Sports teams have dominated Varsity Cup, Varsity Sport and USSA National student tournaments for more than 10 years.
The annual Bestmed TuksRace has grown over the years, earning the status of “one of the best organised races” in South Africa. Though the COVID-19 pandemic halted efforts in 2021, future marathons are on the horizon.
Bestmed’s sponsorship plays an integral role in fostering young athletes and supporting UP’s efforts to promote sport as imperative to physical and mental wellbeing, as well as essential to achieving academic success.Leo Dlamini says, “It is a real honour for us to contribute to the success of TuksSport. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with winners. We treasure the relationship with UP and TuksSport, which we are confident will remain strong long into the future. We are excited and look forward to supporting more rising stars to achieve their sporting dreams.”