Magakwe looks towards Olympics

Pretoria - Although 2014 was the most successful in Simon Magakwe's career, the sprinter has not lost track of his ultimate dream, which is to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

"This was my best year since I’ve been a professional athlete, but it’s only the beginning because my mission is to compete in the 2016 Olympics," Magakwe said on Tuesday.

"That is what I am working towards in the long term but obviously there is still some time before that comes."

Magakwe narrowly missed out on qualification for the London Olympics in 2012, as he failed to achieve a second qualifying standard required to make the South African team.

In April this year, he broke the national 100m record, clocking 9.98 seconds at the SA Athletics Championships in Pretoria.

Magakwe smashed his own previous record of 10.06 seconds - a national record he shared with Johan Rossouw, which was set in 1988.

The 28 year-old said he was pleased with the gradual progress he had made each year.

"It proves to me that my hard work has been paying off and that it was not for nothing.

"I just need to continue to put in the hours on the track and at the gym."

His 100m dash increased Magakwe's status and led to him competing at various international meets including the Diamond League series in Europe and the US, alongside 100m world record holder Usain Bolt.

"Things are done so much differently over there. I have been learning so much from watching top athletes and I think it will make me better as well."

Despite the impressive year, Magakwe vowed to remain focused.

"Yes it was great for me, but it's not enough," he said.

"I need to work even harder now to prove myself - not just at home but internationally - and reach my full potential."

For Magakwe, there was no such thing as an off-season and he continued to train with coach Eugene Thipe.

"I can't afford to lose any more time. My programme during this time goes into the December festive season.

"While some people will be partying, I will be in the gym working hard."

Not content with making his mark on South African soil, Magakwe sought to make a name for himself on the international stage.

"I need to test myself against the top guys if I want to be one of the best.

"I know it won’t be easy but I am prepared to do whatever it takes."

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