BackTrack Athlete of the week! 

AOW (Athlete of the week) is back!!! It is fitting as we build up towards the Olympic Games with athletes scrambling to get that all important Q (qualification mark), that we continue to celebrate their achievements! We’ll be tracking back to look at some of the amazing performance posted by South Africans in the month of May.
Week 22: 3-9 May 2021

Here’s a look at the candidates for AOW:

Kyle Blignaut is certainly one of the most exciting throwers we currently have in SA. The 2018 World u20 Shot Put Gold Medallist has used the past 2 years to transition and cement his place amongst the senior athletes in SA. Blignaut finally broke through into a new level as a senior athlete with a throw of 21.03m
Phatutshedzo Maswanganyi is having the time of his life in the United States of America. Maswanganyi has not slowed down of even stumbled since basing in the US at the University of Houston. He has clocked numerous PB’s (person best) times and this weekend was a special one. Maswanganyi clocked a phenomenal time of 10.04 (+2.8w) in the 100m and 20.14 (+2.7w) in the 200m. Although the wind readings in both these performances were illegal. This was a sign of the phenomenal athlete that he is and one can only wonder what is to come.
Caster Semenya has used 2021 to upgrade her distance to the 5000m. Semenya has opted on the longer distance race unlike in 2020 where they had been focusing on the 200m sprint. Semenya has looked more comfortable over the longer distance. In Potchefstroom she clocked 9:04.20 in the 3000m which has landed her as one of the nominees on this list.
Tiaan Kleynhans has been one of the breakthrough athletes of 2021 after clinching the SA title at the TuksAthletics Stadium in Pretoria, he was back on the track again at the Puk McArthur Stadium. Kleynhans continued his winning form in 2021 with a time of 13.67 in the110m Hurdles.
Leroux Hamman the SA 400m Hurdles Champion for 2021 was on the track again and this time with the title already bagged it was all about get the fast times in the book again as he pursues the Olympic Games qualifying time. Hamman ran a strong race once again using his signature strong finish to win in 49.82 seconds over the 400m Hurdles.
Ruwahl Samaai was also in action in Potchefstroom with his sights on one goal which was reaching the Olympics Games qualifying mark of 8.22m. Samaai looked in good form going into the competition and also during the competition it was an anticipation of which jump would hit the mark. Samaai unfortunately had to settled for victory with a distance of 8.07m in the Long Jump but one can’t help but feel that the big jump is coming soon.
AOW: Wenda Nel! Nel has been in sublime form in 2021! She has been undefeated over the 400m Hurdles and she also took back her throne after winning the SA title at the national champs in Pretoria. With that out of the way she was pursuing one of the biggest goals on any athletes list in 2021, which is an qualifying for the Olympic Games. Nel has looked great and the time was always in her reach as she was getting faster with each race but this time around the time would not elude her and she clocked a sensational 55.16 in 400m Hurdles to achieve the Olympic Games Qualifier. This brave performance earned her our ATHLETE OF THE WEEK!

Well done to all the nominees and winner. Continue flying the SA flag higher.

Written by Themba Madima