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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'I am not getting ahead of myself' - Wildschutt stays grounded while celebrating new SA 10 000m mark

South African rising star athlete Adrian Wildschutz is delighted to have written himself into country’s athletics history books. On Sunday, Wildschutz set a new national 10 000m record with a scintillating run of 27:23 during the Track Fest meet in Los Angeles, California. Speaking to #TheTopRunner after eclipsing the 24-year-old 27:28 which had been held by the legendary Hendrick Ramaala, Wildschutz said he surprised himself with just how fast he ran.

"It’s very special to me that I'm now in the history books and hopefully I can continue that. I feel pretty good about the race. I felt confident going into it. I trained really well and adapted rather well to 7000 feet elevation (2100m) in Flagstaff, Arizona where I am currently based. The race however was paced at 27:30 and halfway through I felt good and knew I could do something special,” explains Wildschutz, who is now based in the United States attending Florida State University.

Wildschutt moments after setting a new SA 10 000m record in California. Photo Credit: Supplied.

Earlier this year, the 25-year-old Naz Elite athlete took some time off from race after having encountered problems with the Visa which was the blessing in disguise. "I haven’t raced in six months because of some visa issues that I had back home in SA but training continued and I was lucky to build even more consistency," explains the man, who represented the country at last year's World Championships in Oregon.

Asked about the key to breaking a record which has eluded many before him, the man who hails from Ceres in the Western Cape said there are no secrets when one works hard. “I focussed on specific parts of my training and got some really super workouts done which allowed me to ultimately reach high level of fitness. Another aspect is hardwork. As always I have been working incredibly hard in achieving these goals. There was a lot of work that was done behind the scenes, which I am very proud of."

Wildschutt at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon last year. He is aiming to represent South Africa once again in Hungary later this year. Photo Credit: Supplied.

With the end of the qualification window (30 May) edging closer for athletes aiming to book an elusive ticket to Hungarian capital of Budapest in August for the World Championship, Wildschutz remains optimistic he can still qualify even though his ultimate objective is to make the #Paris2024 Olympic team.

"That was just my season opener and I can do more. I am going to focus a little bit on the 3 and 5km to get even faster times to help me in the 10 000m. I am not getting ahead of myself, especially considering I would need to run 27:10 in order to qualify for the 10 000m," said the man who is coached by Allen Culpepper. “I will keep working and hopefully all the other things will come together. I work hard and I am confident in that."

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