Khris juggles his way to records

2018-05-17 06:02
Khris Njokwana has beaten Theo Walcott’s record.

Khris Njokwana has beaten Theo Walcott’s record.

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World renowned freestyler Khris Njokwana has got his name into the Guinness World Record books by usurping the famous Theo Walcott.

Njokwana, courtesy of Heineken SA, broke the record for the ‘highest altitude football dropped and controlled’ at the Johannesburg Stadium at the weekend.

A crane dropped the ball from a height of 37.4m, and the freestyler from Langa, had to control the ball and make five touches before it touched the ground.

His success meant he bettered Walcott’s previous record of 34m.

“I have dreamt about a moment like this since I started playing football as a youngster, I can’t believe it. I am now a world record holder”, said Njokwana.

Former Bafana Bafana star Steven Pienaar, who was on hand to encourage Njokwana, was full of praise afterwards.

“A soccer ball is hard enough to control when dropped from 2 or 3 metres high, but 37.4 metres is a whole new level,” an awestruck Pienaar said.

Khris Njokwana sets his new football freestyling record!

Njokwana had failed in his first two attempts, but third time was a charm as he made contact with the ball using his thigh and then made the requisite five touches that got his name into the record books, eclipsing a player of no less a stature than the revered Theo Walcott.

The former Santos, Hellenic and Ajax Cape Town junior says he always had an ambition of playing professional football but since the age of 23, freestyling took over his life and allowed him to travel the world.

“It all started for me back in 2004, when I was left in awe seeing this old man Professor Ngubane, I think at the time he was coaching with Bush Bucks, come to the township of Langa and show off all these impressive skills,” he tells KickOff.com.

“I played football from a young age and was at Santos, Hellenic and Ajax. I had an opportunity for trials at Silver Stars too, but by the age of 23 I felt the dream was over and I pursued professional freestyling due to the success I had at the Red Bull event.”

On the challenge of preparing for the record, he explained how the velocity of the unpredictable flight of the ball often left him with bruises and the struggles of finding a suitable place to train.

“We struggled to get permission from landlords of skyscrapers of the height required to train, so I settled using local floodlights in Langa but it was really difficult as the ball never travels the same way.

“I’m just proud of my achievement now, after setting South Africa on the map again, since this season we have no players in the UEFA Champions League and my affiliation with Heineken and the European competition is great for exposure in our country.

“Walcott hasn’t responded or said anything since then but right now, I’m just proud of this achievement and proud as a South African.”

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