BackTrack Athlete of the week! 


Week 24: 17-23 May 2021: We continue to celebrate the achievements of SA athletes as we draw nearer to the Olympic Games! We’re tracking back to look at some of the amazing performances posted by South Africans in the month of May.

Here’s a look at the candidates for AOW:


Sinesipho Dambile: 200m

Dambile is finally back! After battling injuries most of the 2021 season he finally overcame it successfully in clocking 20.56 seconds in the 200m. Dambile went 
head-to-head with Clarence Munyai who was in an unforgiving mood on the day narrowly winning in 20.53 seconds. Dambile finished second in 20.56 and this 
performance booked him a spot in the World u20 Championships later this year. Mission complete.

Wenda Nel: 400m Hurdles

Nel has been in phenomenal form in 2021 and remains undefeated on SA soil! Nel lined-up in the 400m Hurdles and again she clocked another sub 56 seconds this 
time it took her 55.63 seconds in the AGN league at TuksAthletics stadium. With a qualifier already in the books, Nel is clearly just chasing the clock, and this can be 
seen in her aggressive approach to each race and it’s amazing to see.

Leroux Hamman: 400m Hurdles

Hamman is back on top of the 400m Hurdles throne and once again at the TuksAthletics stadium he went under 50 seconds for victory in a time of 49.72 seconds. 
With the SA title back in his pocket Hamman is chasing the Olympic qualifying standard of 48.90 seconds.

Mpho Links: High Jump

Links stepped out again after his recent victory at the USSA Championships and cleared a height of 2.25m in the High Jump. Link has been in fantastic form and 
with each competition he looks closer and closer to clearing 2.30m. Links has come agonisingly close on many attempts with a slight graze of the bar being his 
downfall on this occasion and previous other close attempts. One can't help but believe something special will come soon.

Simone Kruger: Discus Throw T35

Kruger once again broke the record which she personally held in the women T35 Discus Throw. The 16 year old Kruger was on song again at the AGN league at the 
TuksAthletics stadium when she threw 35.62m to better her own World Record. Kruger has been dominating the event with best performance and whilst still a 
teenager one can only imagine what the future holds for her.

AOW: Irvette van Zyl

Athlete of the week however goes to Irvette van Zyl!! Van Zyl has had a phenomenal year in 2021 which has seen her reignite her love for track again. In pursuit of 
speed in her legs she could be seen on the track over distances such as the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m which in return has paid dividends on the road. Van Zyl 
secured an Olympic Games qualifier in the Marathon earlier this year with a time of 2:28:40 but the performance that shocked her and many others was at the 
Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50-K in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth). Van Zyl was scheduled to be pacesetter in the 50km event but upon arriving successfully at 
the mark she notched it up and stole the show not only winning but breaking the world record in a time of 3:04:23 (3 hours, 4 minutes and 23 seconds). Now there 
are two world records in the Van Zyl household with LJ van Zyl still record holder in the 200m Hurdles straight.

Congrats to all the athletes for flying the SA flag high.

Photo credit: Werner Hills

Written by Themba Madima