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SUTaipei2017: Triple Threat from South African Flag-Bearer

CAPETOWN - Team South Africa’s flag-bearer Justine Palframan is counting on lucky number three ahead of this year’s Summer Universiade in Taipei.

Not only has she been entered into three different races, but the South African sprinter will be aiming for a third Universiade medal in her third consecutive Summer Universiade later this month.

The Stellenbosch University Biokinetics Honours student earned bronze in the 4x400m women’s relay event in Kazan 2013, before sprinting her way to 400m individual gold in Gwangju two years ago.

The South African speedster, also a 2016 Rio Olympian, heads to Taipei with the added incentive of being named the country’s flag-bearer, and is honoured at the prospect, while relishing the upcoming competition.

“I am extremely excited and honoured to be named flag-bearer for Team SA,” she tells “It is going to be an amazing experience. The Universiade is a lovely competition, and gives you exposure to all the pressures and running in front of a crowd. It is an experience all student athletes should have, living in the village and all that comes with it. It is not much different to an Olympic village.”

Palframan, who will be warming up for the event while representing South African at the World Championships in London this week, has entered the 200m, 400m and 4x100m events this year, but insists she feels no added pressure as the reigning 400m Universiade champion.

“I am going there to give of my best performance and use my talents to glorify God,” she says. “The last Summer Universiade was two years ago and a lot changes in two years – there’s new athletes and different paths in life, so I don’t feel the pressure as this is a new race and a new competition. It’s all about who is best on the day.”

Despite being only 23 years old, Palframan is a somewhat ‘veteran’ at the Games now, and admits it’ll be much easier having participated in the previous two competitions.

“I think it is easier in the sense that I have an idea of what to expect and it as not as overwhelming as the first games. But I haven’t really thought of me being one of the oldest now,” she laughs.

In a very competitive sporting field, Palframan gives a refreshing outlook on what she hopes to gain from this year’s Universiade.

“I am feeling excited and looking forward to embracing the moment and having fun,” she says. “Often we put far too much pressure on the outcome and don’t enjoy the process. My goal this year is to have fun in what I am doing and smile, no matter the result.”

Justine Palframan winning gold at the 2015 SU in Gwangju, Korea

Posted by Fabio De Dominicis, RSA U-Media Reporter on 11 Aug, 2017.
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