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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'I'm still a kid and I must enjoy it' - Maxime Chaumeton takes 4th in 27:58 at Absa RYC DURBAN 10k

After breaking 8 minutes over 3000m for the first time back in February, Maxime Chaumeton bullishly announced that his 7:56 to win the 3000m at Central Gauteng Athletics' (CGA) second league meeting of the 2022 track and field season was just the beginning. How right he was because the man who celebrates his 22nd birthday on 12 July, has just produced his first sub 28 minute 10km clocking. Finishing in fourth place behind Isaac Kipkemboi's scorching 27:37 during today's Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k, Chaumeton ran 27:58 to become the first South African man to run a 27 minute 10km on SA soil.

"I'm really chuffed," he told #TheTopRunner moments after finishing behind Kipkemboi, Namakoe Nkhasi (27:51) and Asbel Rutto (27:55). "First sub 28 of hopefully man more to come. I'm just really happy with the performance today and I give all credit to my coaches Hendrick Ramaala and Rodica Moroianu. Without a solid team and without training partners this is not possible," said the man who was born in Johannesburg to a South African mother and French father.

After finishing fifth during the 2021 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k, Mazime Chaumeton took fourth place in 2022 while becoming the first South African to run 28 minutes on SA soil. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

Going into this race the University of Johannesburg student held a personal best of 28:30 which he produced during the same race last October when he took fifth place. That he has managed to smash that mark by over thirty seconds, while leapfrogging legendary athletes such as Ramaala, Shadrack Hoff, training partner Precious Mashele and Stephen Mokoka on the list of the top fifty 10km performances on SA soil underlines the magnitude of today's run. The reigning University Sports South Africa 5000m champion says his performance matched his plan.

"As Precious said we knew the splits that we needed to run and I had my team around me. I think it's more down to the fact that I came here with a plan and I wanted to run 27. I think everyone knows in my group that I have been focussing fully for two months on running a 27 minute 10km. Whether it was 27:59.99, it didn't matter as long as it was 27 minutes. This is just the first time I prepared mentally for it and I pulled through. I'm happy about that," explained the man who with got into running when he befriended Ramaala's son Alex and joined the 2004 New York Marathon Champion's training group in Zoo Lake, close to his home.

Kenya's Isaac Kipkemboi dominated the race to lead from gun to tape. He completed the fast 10km course in the new personal best time of 27:37 as he broke the 28 minute barrier for the first time. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

With a landmark run under his belt, many would be forgiven for assuming that the man who started out as a 1500m athlete is now a full-time road runner. But after finishing second behind Mashele in the 5000m at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships, Chaumeton says he still has much to achieve on the track before he can commit himself exclusively to road running.

"Everybody can see it in the way that I run. I lead the first 3km of any race, which suggests that I must stay on the track. My love is on the track. I must go back to my childhood dreams of making the Olympics and World Champs on the track and not on the road yet. I'll go back to focus on my 1500 and we'll see if my 5000m pulls through. So it's back to speed work and back to what kids must do. I'm still a kid and I must enjoy it," he smiled.

Following her victory in the 2021 Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 12k, Jesca Chelangat won her second Absa RYC Series race in three starts. Her 30:41 is a new SA All-Comers record. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

In the women's race, the Kenyans made a sweep of the podium as Jesca Chelangat produced a lightening fast 30:41 South African All Comers Record at the Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10K, with Diana Chesang (31:55) in second and Fridah Ndinda third (32:25). Boxer Athletics Club's Glenrose Xaba in fourth, was the first South African home in 32:52.

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