Lindukuhle Gora ready for Youth Olympics

Athletics Gauteng North’s Lindukuhle Gora will represent SA for the fourth time when he competes, at next month’s Youth Olympics, in Argentina.  Here he is pictured at the ASA youth and junior championships, in Paarl, in April. Photo credit Keagan Mitchell. 
 
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While the 2018 senior international track and field ended earlier this month, Athletics Gauteng North’s Lindukuhle Gora,17, is gearing up for the Youth Olympic Games, in Buenos Aries, Argentina, next month. Gora from Kempton Park, in Johannesburg is part of a 16-member South African team that includes eight boys and girls that will take part in the third edition of the global competition. SA athletes qualified for the Youth Olympic Games following the African Youth Games in July that served as a qualification opportunity. The SA track and field team will be joined by 18 other sporting codes that includes: aquatics (swimming and diving), hockey, tennis, golf, rugby sevens and hockey to name a few. The Grade 12 pupil at Prestige College said making the SA team for the Youth Olympics is an indescribable feeling. “It is a moment I have been dreaming about for the past few years. It is unbelievable but the start to something great. I am expecting to do my best because I worked hard to make the team.  I am going there to go all the way to the finals and believe my best is yet to come,” he said. Despite having a set-back at the start of the season the former Jeugpark Primary School pupil used that as motivation for the 2018 track and field season. The youngster finished second in the boys’ under-18 400m hurdles and sprint event, clocking 52.46 and 47.38 seconds at the Athletics South Africa(ASA) youth and junior Championships, in Paarl, in April. A few weeks later, he following that up with a gold medal to stop the clock at 51.84 seconds in the boys’ under-18 400m hurdles event, at the Confederation of African Athletics  (CAA) youth and junior championships, in Boksburg, Johannesburg. In July, Gora finished in first place in the boys’ under-18 400m hurdles event, clocking 52.18 seconds at the African Youth Games, in Algeria. Gora said when he finished second at the SA youth and junior champs, it was a wake call for him and his coach Reneilwe Aphane. “It made me realize that there are athletes who want it as bad as I do, but it comes down to who is the most prepared on the day. The Southern Region Champs was my very first international medal which meant a lot to me and to top it off I ran A standard qualifying time which was one step closer on reaching my Olympic dream. To be the All Africa Games 400m hurdles Champion is something special,” he said. Last year, the lanky athlete got the opportunity to represent SA at the Commonwealth Youth Games, in the Bahamas but was disqualified in his heat. “Last year, the nerves got to me but I worked on my mistakes and it has paid off this year.  The Youth Olympics is a new competition and different mindset,” said Gora who looks up to his training group Mbhereko that includes the likes of World U18 200m Champion Retshidisitswe Mlenga, SA under-18 400m hurdles record holder Gontse Morake, SA and CAA Southern Region boys’ under-18 triple jump champion Sifiso Miya and African Youth Games long jump champion Jason Tito. “The amount of talent we have is breath taking but most importantly the hard work we put in as a group. Training with this group of athletes motivates me to do well. What excites me is that Gontse, Sifiso and Jason also made the team for the Youth Olympics,” he said.

Written by Keagan Mitchell