1 minute read
19 Apr 2014
10:00 am

Magakwe’s feat late, but great

It is not by chance that the 100 metre sprint is the blue ribband event in world track and field; there are few more exciting sights than watching eight superbly tuned athletes exploding from the blocks, streaking down the straight and stretching agonisingly for the line.

The sight of elongated Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt decimating a stellar field in the Beijing Olympics, showboating the last 20 metres and still clocking a staggering 9.72 second world record, is one that will take decades to fade.

A sub-10 is a magic mark and is is to be roundly celebrated that Simon Magakwe became the first South African to do so, the muscular sprinter from the North West Province achieving the feat earlier this month.

But awesome as Magakwe’s achievement is, it must be tempered with two thoughts.

His 9.98 came over two decades after Britain’s Barcelona Olympic champion Lynford Christie burst through 10 seconds at the opening of the Johannesburg Stadium in 1992 and Magakwe, having now broken through in Pretoria, needs to do sub-10s on a consistent basis.

He has shown his dedication to the path he chose, despite being left out of the London Olympic squad. And like all South Africans, we wish him power to his winged feet.