Jody Williams promised to represent the country with pride and work his socks off to not come back home from the FISU University World Cup Combat Sport without a medal.
He proved to be a man of his word as he and his teammates came home with a bronze medal for team Kumite. His team, at the games that took place in Turkey at the end of September, also included his UWC teammates, Darren Lakey and Lyndon Bailey.
Franco du Plessis from the University of Pretoria completed the four men national team for SA.
Although individually they did not win any medals, when they entered the team Kumite, their teamwork brought home the medal.
The highly rated karatekas, who train under the eye of Michael du Plessis, went into the games high in confidence having been no strangers to the winner’s podium in national and African competitions.
Having a chance to raise the South African flag on the podium is an achievement that will open up more opportunities. Williams says they were going for gold but medalling in the biggest stage of their careers so far is a huge achievement and an experience of a lifetime.
Before jetting off to Turkey, Sensei Du Plessis called his students the most talented group he has ever worked with in the country.
A statement speaks volumes coming from a well-respected karate instructor who has been all over the world through karate.
Williams, a sports science honours student is a bronze medalist at the African Championships and called it an honour to represent his community at an international level.
Bailey, a law student, is a four-time national champion, and Lakey, another sports science student, got his first taste of victory as a 13-year-old when he received his provincial colours.