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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'I'm super proud of my performance' - Chaumeton makes a dream international race debut

Running in his first international road race, Maxime Chaumeton proved too many why he is tipped as the next big South African athlete. On Sunday, he ran a sensational time of 28:19 to take a third spot in BOclassic 10k race in Italy. His time was five seconds shy of the eventual race winner Oscar Chelimo who won the bronze medal in the 5 000m at last year's World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. This after the Johannesburg-born Chaumeton had led the race for almost 9km before fading in the final stages. The University of Johannesburg student says he is proud of his achievement.

"I'm happy with the way I performed. Running a first international race and earn a podium against the quality field, what more I can ask for?," said Chaumeton, who is coached by former New York Marathon champion Hendrick Ramaala at his famous Zoo Lake Training Group which also includes multiple SA Champion Precious Mashele.

Chaumeton leading the BOclassic before Uganda's Oscar Chelimo produced a sprint finish to win the race with Ethiopian-born Italian Yemaneberhan Crippa in second place. Photo Credit: BOclassic.

"I think coming into the race I managed to prepare for it very well. Last year, I didn't race much since my focus was to finish my studies. But that didn't stop me from putting in hard training. On my mind, I thought at one stage of race that I have won it. But the guys showed experience in the closing stages. I'm still super proud with my performance," he shared.

As the reigning 5000m University Sports South Africa (USSA) champion, the 22-year-old says his focus this year is to try and qualify for the World Athletics Championship. "My goal this year is to qualify for the World Champs. I'll focus on 1 500m and 5 000m distance. I know I stand a big chance to earn a spot in those distances." The games are scheduled in Hungarian capital of Budapest from August 19 to 27.

Chaumeton applauds Chelimo after his victory. Photo Credit: BOclassic.

So where does that leave road running for the man who is the owner of 27:58 10km personal best which he clocked during 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY DURBAN 10k where he became the first South African athlete to dip under 28 minutes on South African soil? Chaumeton says although his 2023 focus will be on the track, he will not be absent from the road running scene. "I'll still do road races," he said.

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