Backtrack A.O.W (Athlete of the week): Tshepo Tshite

 

 This week has seen the senior athletes put down some world class performances! Let’s look at the nominees for AOW.

 

 

1.       Caster Semenya opened her track season in style at the Gauteng North Championships with two fine performances on the same day. Semenya doubled-up in the 1500m which she won with a time of 4:14.69 and then later on in the very last track race of the day she went to clock an impressive 16:11.59 in the 5000m. This fine display of endurance deserves the opening nomination for AOW.

2.       Tebogo Mamatu was in stellar form at the Gauteng North Championships. She looked particularly smooth in the 100m heats where she booked her automatic spot in the final with a quick 11.44 seconds. In the final, she again proved to be a level ahead of her competitors when she won the Gauteng North title in 11.51 seconds ahead of Cherese Jones 2nd, and Reabetswe Moloi in 3rd. Great season opening weekend for her.

3.       Gardeo Isaacs is another 400m sensation to look out for in SA. Isaacs raised a few eyebrows with a fine performance at the Varsity Athletics Cup on Friday night in Potchefstroom. Isaacs looked smooth all the way till the 300m being pushed by race favourite Zakithi Nene but seemed to have the extra gear which pushed him to victory in 45.70! Isaacs is the 3rd SA athlete to dip under the 46 seconds mark in 2019 with the other 2 being Thapelo Phora 45.75 and Derick Mokaleng 45.67 (indoor)!

4.       Sunette Viljoen is on a roll and she seems to be getting stronger with each competition. At the Gauteng North Championships, Viljoen threw 61.22m in the women’s Javelin to be crowned Gauteng North Champion. Viljoen will be eyeing the mark of 64.00m which is the IAAF standard for the 2020 Olympics well within her reach.

5.       Wayne Snyman put in a great display of his abilities when he competed in Switzerland at the Lugano Trophy Cup Race-walk event. Snyman clocked a time of 1:23.01 and in so doing finished in 3rd place at this prestigious event. Snyman’s time is just 2 minutes of the IAAF Olympic qualifying time so he looks in great shape to meet that mark with the season barely underway. 

 

But the Athlete of the Week goes to Tshepo Tshite! Tshite was in outstanding form at the Gauteng North Championships in Pretoria, Tuks Stadium. Tshite clocked a scintillating 1:44.69 in the 800m final, this was a breath-taking run which had the entire Tuks stadium on their feet. Tshite was on a mission from the start pushing the pace with his teammate Tumelo Machaba but from the 300m mark there were only two people in the race, and that is Tshite and the clock! He put foot-to-paddle and he didn’t look back till crossing the line with his fist raised in the air and the entire crowd was shocked to see 1:44.70 on clock. This  time was then officially rouneded-off to 1:44.69! This is the fastest time run by a South African since 2014 when Andre Olivier went under 1:45 numerous times but also one of the fastest inland times by a South African! This performance makes him worthy winner of the A.O.W award!

 

Well done to all the athletes, “keep it flowing like the water”

 

Written by Themba Madima