BACKTRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Athlete of the week is back! We’re getting ready to close off the 2021 season but there has still been a great string of performances being showcased by SA’s best athletes.

Here’s a look at the performances that stood out 25-31 October 2021:

Adrian Wildschutt: Cross Country 8km
Widschutt is continuing where he left things off in the United States of America once again setting the cold cross country course alight. Amongst breaking the Florida State University records on numerous occasions this season, Wildschutt was also crowned ACC Men’s Cross Country Champion at the Burke Golf course. Wildschutt showing great form with the NCAA Regionals coming up next.

Prudence Sekgodiso: Street Mile
Sekgodiso finally set foot on the racing line again and this time it would be to defend her title at Thembisa Mile where she would face arch rivals, Tse’pang Sello and Simonay Weitsz. Sekgodiso was ruthless in her racing and she dominated the race once again stamping her name as the Queen of Thembisa clocking a time of 4:52 for victory.

Ryan Mphahlele: Street Mile
Mphalele is back to his old self after fighting of injuries that hampered him from his dominant racing style. That’s all a thing of the past now as the athlete know as King Ryan is back on his throne again. With a victory at the ASA 4km Championships in Amanzimtoti in the bag, Mphahlele had the task of winning at the Thembisa Mile whilst targeting that elusive sub 4min mile barrier in Thembisa. Mphahlele did not disappoint in bagging the title whilst fighting of his nemesis, Tshepo Tshite to break the course record with a time of 4:01

Precious Mashele 10km
Mashele has had an amazing season in 2021 and he is showing no signs of slowing down. With his recent performance in Poznan, Poland which saw him run a new personal best time of 60:00 Mashele was the favourite to win the ABSA Durban 10k CityRun combined with the ASA 10km Championships. Mashele did exactly that, fighting of the event resilient Stephen Mokoka in a close tussle over the last 1km but Mashele was able to break away for victory.

Tayla Kavanagh
Kavanagh has been impressive in 2021 with some major performances over the 10km distance. Breaking her PB (personal best) time in numerous occasions this season, she shows no signs of slowing down. Kavanagh has gone on to keep improving with each race and has planned her race choices to perfection. After an impressive 3rd place finish in PMB at Spar Grand Prix where she ran a PB time of 33:50, she followed this big performance with a 2nd place finish in Gqeberha with a PB time of 32:51 at the Spar Grand Prix and now she has further brought her personal best time down to 32:10 with her biggest career victory at the ABSA Durban 10k CityRun combined with the ASA 10km Championships. All this at just 20 years old, the future certainly looks bright.

AOW: Aiden Smith – Shot Put
17-year-old, Aiden Smith has had a fantastic season in 2021 which makes him one of the biggest prospects for athletes to look out for in the near future. After competition at the World u20 Championships earlier this year in Nairobi and falling short of his goals, he seems hungrier and more ambitious to get better with the World u20 Championships set to take place again in 2022. This time around he will be 18 year which gives him an added advantage compared to this year. Smith recently competed in Potchefstroom and broke the national record for boys u18 in the Shot Put with a throw of 21.10m!! This has earned him our athlete of the week.

Thanks to all the SA athletes for shining and making South Africa proud with their great performances.

Written by Themba Madima