Golden oldie aims for gold

2016-10-19 06:00
ROBERT XAVIER Photo: Supplied

ROBERT XAVIER Photo: Supplied

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TRACK athlete Robert Xavier is on his way to the 2016 World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth, Australia.

Sun International’s Windmill Complex in Bloemfontein made it possible for this “Golden Oldie” from the Eastern Cape.

All expenses are covered by the sponsorship of over R47 000. It will cover airfares, accommodation, event registration fees, subsistence costs and his South African Masters Athletics kit.

The World Masters Athletics Championships are set to take place from 26 October to 6 November.

Touted as the fastest 100 m sprinter for his age, Xavier (63) will be the first athlete from the Eastern Cape to represent South Africa at the World Masters.

“When we heard that Robert is one of the top contenders for a gold medal in the 100 m sprint in the upcoming World Masters Athletics Championships and that he needed help getting to Perth, we were keen to get involved.

“To reach and maintain this level of performance at the age of 63 is both commendable and inspiring.

“Notably, he has achieved tremendous success, with lightning fast times in a host of national events, in the absence of any formal training.

“We are delighted to be part of bringing his dream to travel to the 2016 World Masters Athletics Championships to fruition. We wish him every success for the event,” says Yasheen de Carvalho, Windmill’s general manager.

Xavier ran the 100 m sprint during his school days, about 45 years ago. However, it was only in 2013 that he took to the track for the first time since then when participating in the District Golden Games in East London.

Later that year he purchased his first pair of spikes to run at the Provincial Golden Games. In 2014 he tried using the starting blocks for the first time. Since then the athlete from Butterworth is unstoppable, achieving great success. Not even the unavailability of facilities for athletics training in his town discourages him.

In less than three years his personal best 12.50 seconds in the 100 m has seen him collect more than 20 medals, including the Sportsman of the Year in the Golden Age Section of the Eastern Cape Sports Awards.

Recently Xavier won the gold medal at the Athletics South Western Districts Masters Championships.

Xavier’s future plans are to compete in as many events as possible both locally and internationally. He has no plans of bowing out until he cut his time by 12 seconds or less.

Xavier plans to take home a gold medal at the National Masters Championships in May 2017.

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