Skipping to the top

2019-08-07 06:02
Tshiloane Sonopo, gymnastic rope skipper, displays the bronze medal he won in Norway.Photo: Supplied

Tshiloane Sonopo, gymnastic rope skipper, displays the bronze medal he won in Norway.Photo: Supplied

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The Free State and South Africa top rope skipping contender Tshilwane Sonopo set sights on adding to his medal haul at another international competition to be held in China. He is gearing up to compete at the Rope Skipping China Open to be staged from 9 to 14 October.

Sonopo’s ambition followed his recent success to win a bronze medal after a superb performance at the 2019 World Jump Rope Championships held in Norway from 3 to 12 July.

The talented jumper was one of SA’s five bronze medal winners in Norway. The five team members were Sonopo (Free State), Keolebogile Mokolopo (Mpumalanga), Mkhululi Gosa, Malusi Tumtumana and Buyisile Hubela (Western Cape).

Sonopo, known as Sony Da Jumper, is no novice in collecting medals both nationally and internationally since he started participation in 2009.

Born and bred in Qwaqwa in the eastern Free State he has represented SA internationally a few times, making the province and the country proud.

On his debut at the global competition, the 2016 World Rope Skipping Championship in Sweden, he won bronze. Sonopo (25), added to his international medal haul winning another bronze in Norway. Achievements by Sonopo and teammates in Norway has placed South Africa as one of the top contenders in speed skipping in the world.

Winning gold, silver and bronze medals comes with ease for Sonopo.

He believes winning bronze at the global championship in Norway was ideally inspiring him to clinch silver and gold – which will earn him top rank in the world.

“My immediate target is to win silver and then gold, following my performance this year. The way I have prepared for future international competitions I can see I’m not far from what the world is doing. Basically, it is possible to achieve my target,” said Sonopo.

His mission to attempt to conquer the world continues with participation at the South African National Championship and trials for international competition during September. These events will be held in Cape Town.

Sonopo’s success at the trial and the national championship will secure him the ticket to compete at the 2019 Rope Skipping China Open.

He has defied the odds in his journey to becoming one of the top rank competitors in SA and internationally.

Training facilities were not ideal in his town of Qwaqwa. However, such conditions have not deterred his spirit to want to achieve.

My immediate target is to win silver then gold, according to my performance this year. The way I have prepared for future international competitions I can see I’m not far from what the world is doing.

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