Hlaselo in action Hlaselo in action

Dumisani Hlaselo is slowly but surely becoming a household name for his athletic ability, but not many people know that this superstar is currently finishing his master’s degree in Sport Science and on-top of it all; he does not have a coach.

The Eastern Cape born Hlaselo is a man of little words, usually leaving all the talking for the track. He had a very ‘busy’ lifestyle having to travel across the country with his single mother who tried her best to provide the best opportunities for her talented son. Like most of the South African children, he also enjoyed playing soccer before the athletics-bug got him in 2003; a bug that saw him line up for his first cross-country race that season. He also started participating in track events which led to him being scouted for his running talents at the big-on-athletics-school HTS Louis Botha. Life improved in high school where he was nurtured into becoming the South African junior 1500m record holder in his first year in university when he clocked a lightning quick 3min38sec’15 during the 2008 season. His high-school career was filled with many national schools, youth and junior titles that made him one of the most sought-after high school athletes for universities across the globe.

The University of Freestate took the respected Hlaselo under their wings in 2008 and that very same year, he broke the national junior 1500m record. However, the next year, the prestigious University of Florida offered him a scholarship that saw him compete for the Florida Gators track & field team as of 2009. The South African did not disappoint whenever he stepped on the track wearing the university’s colours: he broke the long-standing 32 year old 1 mile record clocking a fast 3min56sec’80, placing him fourth at the NCAA Indoor championships, and in 2010 he finished first in his race that helped the Florida Gators win their first team competition in more than twenty years. A great three years of competing in the United States saw him return to South Africa to complete his honours degree at his alma-mater Kovsies; academics was never neglected, yet a great balance had to be kept to maintain his current shape after a surprising move to the University of Johannesburg in 2015. Hlaselo’s positive attitude, work-ethic, drive and mental state is exemplary setting him apart from most of the student-athletes.

The youngster who is currently busy with his Master’s Degree in Sport Science at the University of Johannesburg has been headhunting the Olympic qualifying time for the men’s 1500m. His 3min36sec spectacle at last year’s USSA national championships in Stellenbosch gave the public reason to start watching the men’s middle/long distance races. Just last week he ran a good 3min38sec 1500m after being paced through the 800m in a very slow 1min59sec, depicting his current shape.

Dumisani Hlaselo is a man who believes in his abilities and he is looking forward to go sub 3min35sec in the next month and repeat this feat during his Europe season. His academic, sporting and personal achievements should write him down as a role-model for youngsters across the nation…We salute you and wish you the best on your Olympic qualifying quest!

Written by Reggie Hufkie