Athletics

The great Nzima is just getting started

Running (AFP)
Running (AFP)

Johannesburg - Winning two marathons in one month is no easy feat, but it was no problem for Olympian Sibusiso Nzima.

Nzima won the Run 4 Cancer Ultra Marathon in Polokwane on November 2 and the 10km Mandela Remembrance Run last weekend, following his long lay-off due to a groin injury.

“I won the 32km race in Polokwane about three weeks ago. It was my first win after I got injured after the Rio Olympics last year,” he said.

Last Sunday, Nzima took home a gold medal after just 30 minutes in the race.

The pint-sized runner said he always wanted to go to the Olympics, but the road to achieving his dream was long and hard.

“It took me more than 15 years to successfully make it to the Olympics.”

The Westonaria-based runner says he is happy to have reached his target, but says this is merely the beginning. He is now even more motivated to reach his targets, one at a time.

He is gunning for more, shorter races before setting his sights on the bigger events.

Nzima plans to start competing in major races from April, which means he will not be going to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

“There is not enough time left before the closing date to qualify, which is the end of this month,” he said.

Born and raised in Johannesburg, Nzima went to TM Letlhake Secondary School in Westonaria.

“That’s where I started to run and I haven’t stopped since.”

The 31-year-old competed in the World Championships in Athletics in Beijing in August 2015. He achieved his personal best in the Seville Marathon, Spain, in February last year, with a time of 2:11:43.

His last year was incredible. At the South African Senior Track and Field Championships, he won two bronze medals in two days: in the 5km race with a time of 13:46.73; and in the men’s 10km, where he clocked 28:36.85.

Nzima finished sixth at the National 10km Championships and qualified for the Rio Olympics.

He made it to the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in London in August.

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