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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Double SA Champ Prudence Sekgodiso now looking forward to nailing WC Qualifying time in Botswana

Of all the entertaining, gutsy and thrilling performances delivered at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships, it is perhaps that of Prudence Sekgodiso that has left most local athletics lovers with hope for the future. The 20-year old who originally hails from Polokwane, completed the double, winning both the 800m and 1500m to be crowned South Africa's middle-distance running queen.

First she smashed her metric mile personal best by almost 4 seconds when she ran unchallenged to a new 4:16.38 clocking on Friday. "It was tough to be honest. Looking back at the start list, I couldn't eat on the day before the race because I saw some other fast girls in the line up whom I expected to challenge me. I ran a PB so I'm excited," said the woman who is coached by Samuel Sepeng who also coached Caster Semenya back in 2018 when she won the 1500m Commonwealth Games title.

Sekgodiso celebrates after smashing her personal best by four seconds to win a maiden 1500m title at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships at the Greenpoint Stadium. Photo Credit: Tladi.

As if one gold medal wasn't enough, the Tshwane University of Technology athlete then followed that up with a fearless performance in her favourite two-lap event leading from gun to tape to win in 2:03.31. Her bubbly, likeable personality has made a crowd favourite, which means all that remains is for Sekgodiso to qualify for the World Championships. But with a the qualification standard set at 1:59.50, the 3-time SA 800m champion will have to improve on her current personal best (2:01.40) by two seconds in order to book her ticket to Oregon.

"I have a race in Botswana on the 30th of April. I'm running the 800m there. Then after that I have a race in Kenya. I will have to decide between going to Kenya or racing the USSA (University Sports South Africa) Championships. I should get better competition in Botswana because they have also invited some Kenyans there. The plan is to run a better time there. I'm looking forward to the race," she explained.

Sekgodiso poses for a photo with fellow Athletics Gauteng North runner Simnay Weitz who finished fourth in that 1500m final. Weitz also won the same national title as a junior back in 2018. Photo credit: TUT Sport.

And with stiff competition, good coaching and better weather conditions than the blustery weather that was experienced over the three days of the nationals at the Greenpoint Athletics Stadium, then this African Youth Games medalist should be able to run under that magical 2 minute mark.

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