Meet the province’s fastest runner

2018-03-20 06:01
Mukendi Makolo with Coby Stevens.

Mukendi Makolo with Coby Stevens.

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A Grade 11 learner from Plumstead High School is now the fastest runner in the province among his peers.

Mukendi Makolo (18) from Plumstead did his 100m sprint in 10.62 at the Western Cape Interschool Championships held over the weekend of 10 March at Dal Josephat Stadium in Paarl.

Prior to this, Mukendi won the 100m, 200m and long jump at the A section interschool competition at Green Point in February. He then proceeded to win the 100m and 200m at the zonal semi-finals in Bellville towards the end of February. He won the 100m at the zonal championships and won silver for the 200m and gold in the relay for u.19 boys.

He was selected to represent Western Province in Paarl and he competed against athletes from all the schools in the Boland and South-western Districts. He was crowned the 100m champion with a winning time of 10.62, becoming the cream of the crop. Mukendi says he is still in disbelief.

“It’s such an overwhelming feeling. I’m really happy about my achievement and this is only the beginning. It now means I have to train harder to improve my time,” he says.

He is part of the Itheko Club in Rosebank. He trains every day after school from 17:00 to 19:00. In order to get to his training grounds he has to take a train.

“I take a train to practice. I’m not really worried about my safety that much because we travel in a group. My focus is to get to training and do what I like. I really love what I do so I will keep pushing,” he says.

Referring to his favourite athlete, retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Mukendi says he thought being a top runner was a goal he could only dream of. “I thought it was just for guys like Usain. I never imagined that one day I would make the list of top runners in the province. The feeling is overwhelming to say the least. It a dream come true for me. My wish is to work even harder and keep improving my time,” he says.

Mukendi says he wants to take his running worldwide and looks forward to the day he can look after his parents and siblings. “My dad works long hours because he is a truck driver. My mother is a domestic worker. I hope that one day I will make a lot of money doing what I really love and that I can take care of my parents so that they don’t have to work long hours,” he says.

Today he leaves for Potchefstroom with his athletics team manager, Coby Stevens for the South African Schools Athletics Track and Field Championships for High Schools.

Stevens describes Mukendi as a humble and dedicated person. “He has become a role model at school. He is putting our school and the province on the map and he has become a good ambassador for the school,” he says.

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