Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
31 May 2021
2:19 pm

Sprint sensation Shaun Maswanganyi: All you need to know

Wesley Botton

Under high-profile coaches Carl Lewis, a nine-time Olympic champion, and Leroy Burrell, a former 100m world record holder, Maswanganyi is thriving in his new environment.

Phatutshedzo Shaun Maswanganyi has displayed superb form in the US this season. Picture: Reg Caldecott/TuksSport

South Africa’s latest sprint sensation, Phatutshedzo Shaun Maswanganyi, has been tearing up the track on the US collegiate circuit.

Here’s all you need to know about the 20-year-old rising star.

Background

Born in Soweto, Maswanganyi attended high school at St Alban’s College in Pretoria.

In 2019 he earned 200m gold and 100m silver at the African U-20 Championships in Abidjan, and last year he broke the SA junior 100m record, clocking 10.06 seconds in Pretoria.

Maswanganyi celebrates after breaking the SA junior 100m record at the Athletics Gauteng North Provincial Championships last year. Picture: Reg Caldecott/TuksSport

College

After matriculating from St Alban’s, Maswanganyi is now in his first season as a freshman at the University of Houston.

Under high-profile coaches Carl Lewis, a nine-time Olympic champion, and Leroy Burrell, a former 100m world record holder, he is thriving in his new environment with the Cougars track and field team.

Breakthrough

Though Maswanganyi had turned heads by dipping under 10 seconds in the 100m event and 20 seconds in the 200m sprint earlier this season, those performances did not officially count due to strong tailwinds.

He came good at the weekend, however, clocking personal bests of 10.04 in the 100m and 20.19 in the 200m at a collegiate meeting in Texas.

ALSO READ: 100 days to Tokyo: SA’s 5 best medal hopes

Olympics

With his latest personal bests, Maswanganyi has booked his place at this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

He joins countrymen Akani Simbine (9.91) and Gift Leotlela (9.94) under the 10.05 standard for automatic entry in the 100m dash, as well as joining Clarence Munyai (20.04) under the required 20.24 standard in the 200m sprint.

In superb form ahead of the multi-sport showpiece in August, he will also add some much needed depth to the injury-hit national 4x100m relay squad.