AGW’s former 400-metre sensation Tjaart van der Walt has signed up to race in the colours of the University of the Free State.
TJAART van der Walt the 400-metre speed sensation from Hopetown Hoërskool in the Northern Cape is lost to the province as he has signed up to race in the colours of the University of the Free State (Kovsies).
The news was confirmed this week by his mother and part trainer Maryna van der Walt.
Tjaart’s departure was a badly kept secret for the several months he had raced for Athletics Griqualand West (AGW).
Maryna said: “we actually had an eye out for a bursary for him to pursue his studies and so decided on Kovsies. He went over to them shortly after appearing at Paarl.”
Until about more than a fortnight ago Tjaart had donned the AGW colours during the province’s appearance at the Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) sanctioned national championships which were hosted by Boland Athletics in Paarl, Western Cape.
On Wednesday this week, both Maryna and AGW president Theo Senekal snr confirmed that Tjaart had, a week ago, raced in his most favoured distance – the 400-metre dash – in the Free State colours.
Tjaart had this time chosen to test his mettle in the ASA Senior Championships in the under-25 age category which took place at the University of Pretoria (Tuks).
Maryna said he placed a poor 13th with a time of 47.76s which was a tad slower than the time he last obtained in Paarl of 47.63s.
She said that below par performance at the Tuks event has done nothing to dent his international standing in the under-18 age category which was at number four worldwide, she said.
Maryna said Tjaart had made it up to the semi-finals of the Senior Championship in Pretoria. He was also scheduled to race in the 4x400m relay team but this did not materialise as the FS team were a member short.
In parting Maryna said: “We are very excited at what the future holds for him. You can certainly keep an eye on us for the future.”