“I want to be like Johan Cronje”, these are the words of 2016 SA 1500m champion Folavio Sehohle. But how did it all come to be? For this we have to go all the way back to 2013 when Sehohle finished 3rd behind Johan Cronje and Juan van Deventer with a pb time of 3:39….
“I want to be like Johan Cronje”, these are the words of 2016 SA 1500m champion Folavio Sehohle. But how did it all come to be? For this we have to go all the way back to 2013 when Sehohle finished 3rd behind Johan Cronje and Juan van Deventer with a pb time of 3:39.
Back in 2013 Sehohle was still training under coach Charl Nuade with training partners Tian Basson, Samson Ngoepe and William Motosola, all 800m specialists. Together they came from a training camp in Dullstroom and was ready for the 2013 season. However the lack of support would show its ugly face and after qualifying to go to SA champs down in Stellenbosch, the question loomed, how was Sehohle going to get there?
“The province helped us with a bit of money, which would not be enough, but Tian’s mother also put in a great deal of money to get us down there to live out our dreams. Although we did not have enough money to buy food, we were heading to Cape Town”. The only route they could afford was then to take a 19 hour bus trip down to Cape town and from there hop on a train to get to the track. Sehohle finished as a fastest loser in the heats and the final came as what he describes as “the race of my life”. With 250m to go he made a brave bid for gold, but was passed again on the last 70m to finish in 3rd place with a pb.
2014 was a difficult year for Sehohle once again with the lack of support he struggled throughout the year. In 2015 he made the move to Johannesburg to train with Olympic marathoner Sibusiso Nzima to start doing road races. He was rewarded greatly for this and even ran a half marathon pb of 63:54 and could easily break 30min on the 10km. But Sehohle would never lose his love for the track. “The only thing that was lacking on my CV was that SA Senior title”. In 2016 he made yet another move to go train with Hendrick Ramaala at Zoo Lake. Ramaala took him in and gave him a place to stay.
With the endurance work of Ramaala and the speedwork that coach Charl Naude still helped him with Sehohle knew that 2016 could be his year. But he would have to go a different route than he did in 2013. He put out a call on Facebook to hear if anyone was willing to support him in flying down to SA’s. Hendrick Ramaala then answered his call. Arriving in Cape Town sickness struck Sehohle and he had no means to get medication. Thus comes in the 2016 4km SA champ Marko Bucarizza who helped out Sehohle with medication. After taking a jog at the track days before the race all he had on him, which was his last money and spikes were stolen. To the rescue came ‘brother’ Tian Basson and coach Charl Naude with food and toiletries.
A now fresh in the legs Sehohle went on the win the 2016 SA 1500m title that day. “Johan Cronje is the only athlete who came to me after the race and respected me for my victory. I look up to him, he is not a greedy guy. He always helps and assists me with advice when I need it.”
Folavio Sehohle went from a bronze medallist in 2013 who had to travel by bus and train to a champion in 2016 by the help of unsung heroes who each do their little selfless act for the greater good. This a message to everyone in South Africa, to know that every little act of kindness and selflessness from your side can make a major difference in the lives of those around you.
“I will keep on fighting. Each and every day I have got that desire. There is nothing I can do better than running. When I step on that track I know I have some unfinished business” – Folavio Sehohle