Victor races his way into the big league

2011-09-17 14:44

Shane Victor has unexpectedly moved from being just another graphic design student at the Durban University of Technology to racing his way into the big league.

What’s even crazier is the fact that he only found out about his participation at the World Championships two weeks before the actual event while preparing to jet off to China for the World Student Games.

The 22-year-old was part of the student team that won bronze in the 4x400m relay.

His maiden participation in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships yielded a silver medal for South Africa, also in the relay.

Alongside Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius, Ofentse Mogawane and Willie de Beer, Victor smashed a 12-year national record, the quartet finishing the race under three minutes during the qualifying heat at the Daegu meet.

“The last month has been unbelievable for me. It’s been crazy mad,” he told City Press.

“If someone had told me two years ago that I would be running at the World Championships I would not have believed it.”

This is because Victor only started taking athletics seriously in 2007 – his matric year.

“In the first three years I was not too focused. But after participating in the Cucsa (Confederation of University and College Sports Association) Games in Botswana and seeing that I could do well and actually do athletics as a career, I made a promise to myself to dedicate the whole year to training,” he said.

“I trained from Monday to Thursday and usually had a race on Saturday or an early session. My training programme during the race season is focused on quality rather quantity. So I basically go to the campus during the day and get to the tracks around 4.30pm.

“I warm up for 40 minutes until my coach arrives at 5pm and basically train for about an hour, concentrating on short speed techniques and speed endurance.”

While this past year may have bitten a chunk out off Victor’s social life, his decision has yielded better results than he could have imagined.

“I got to train with and eat in the same dining hall with people I consider to be heroes of mine, whom I saw on TV. This has been my dream since I was little. My Facebook account has never been this active,” said the self-confessed camera shy rising star, who has his sights on competing at the 2012 Olympics in London.

But before Victor can fully concentrate his efforts on achieving this, his immediate plan of action is to complete his diploma this year.

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