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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'I'm happy with the progress' - Nene continues to build good form ahead of Silesia Diamond League

Despite starting his European summer track and field season with unfavourable results, South African sprint sensation Zakithi Nene has managed to turn things around and is looking good ahead of the World Championships in August. A fortnight ago, he produced a time of 45:30 for his first Diamond League victory in Stockholm, Sweden. Then the New Balance Brand Ambassador also reigned supreme at the Meeting International de Sotteville last week in a continuation of his great form.

Nene was in dominant mood at the KZNA Senior Track and Field Championships over the weekend where he defeated the likes of Anaso Jobodwana to win the 200m (20:89) and then took his specialist event in 46:02 as well. Photo Credit: Cuan Walker.

The 25-year-old two-time SA 400m champion says these results come a huge confidence booster as he is eager to build winning formula. "My European season has been a see-saw if I can put it that way. The time I left South Africa, I wasn't in great shape but through training I have managed to gain good results," he explained.

"Looking at my performances at the moment, I think I'm starting to raise the bar. It feels great to win as an athlete because that's something you can't take away. So recently, I have been doing great even though I'm yet to clock the times I'm looking for. One of those reasons is that, I have raced in the unfavorable weather conditions. In the end, I'm happy with the progress I have made," he told #TheTopRunner.

Nene in action for South Africa at the World Relays. After taking fourth place at the 2022 African Championships in Mauritius, Nene is hoping to go at least one better this year by earning a maiden major championships medal. Photo Credit: ASA Media.

Nene's form will be put to the test when he takes part in the Silesia leg of the Diamond League this coming Sunday in Poland. He is set to clash with World record holder Wayde Van Niekerk and African Champion Muzala Samukongo, who has run the fastest time this season of 43:91 over the one lap distance.

"To be fair, I haven't seen the start list. But It always feels great to race with Wayde (Van Niekerk). We have faced off this year during SA Championship but I wasn't not great shape at that time. The important thing is to finish strong as it might be the last race in Europe before coming back to prepare for the World Championship in Hungary."

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