'I thank the Lord for someone like her' - Anthony Timoteus pays tribute to his wife as he joins Boxer AC
Many may not be aware that When Johan Cronje won South Africa’s only medal at the 2013 World Championships, he was father to a young child. Cronje’s wife had given birth just months before leaving the SA 1500m Record holder with a potentially difficult journey to what would be his last major global competition. Realising this, his wife decided that they should sleep in different bedrooms so she could looks after the baby while her husband got the quality sleep needed by an elite performer. The rest is history as the man from the Free State went on to win bronze in the metric mile.
A decade later and Anthony Timoteus is on a similar journey. His wife gave birth to their first child in January and like Mr and Mrs Cronje, Mr and Mrs Timotheus sleep in different bedrooms so that one of Mzansi’s most promising athletes can get a good night’s rest.
"My wife is really supporting me on this journey. My previous coach Glen Bentley told me the story about Johan Cronje on his way to winning that bronze medal. I’m also fortunate enough to live in a house where we can sleep in different rooms, while my wife looks after the baby. I can just thank the Lord for someone like her because she understands athletics because she was an athlete herself," he said.
With that sort of support Timotheus decided to embrace this season of change in his life. After three years with the Nedbank Running Club where he won bronze behind Precious Mashele and Maxime Chaumeton in the 5000m at the 2022 Athletics South Africa Senior Track and Field Championships and produced a 10km lifetime best of 28:29 at the 2022 Absa RUN YOUR CITY CAPE TOWN 10K, the 28-year-old has joined the Boxer Athletic Club.
"It’s a surreal moment because I’ve been Nedbank for the past three yers where I built a good relationship. Nick (Bester) and the team were very good to me for the last 3 years. There was this stigma that the club is only for ultra runners. I went to Nedbank to break that stigma. I ran all my best times on the track as a Nedbank runner. When it came to racing options they didn’t push me into the longer distances, they listen to my plan with my coach."
"Boxer was a club that I was always watching because it was a club that is filled with champions. Going to Boxer will force me to compete. Now I’ll compete with Kabelo Seboko, Precious and Elroy. I just don’t want to make up the numbers. Now I want to upgrade my silver and bronze at nationals to gold."
Ready to compete to be one of the best athletes at a club that boasts many of the country’s finest, track, 10km and half marathon athletes, the man who is coached by the legendary Zola Budd has his sights set on improving on the 13:35.90 5k PB that he set on his way to winning the Cape Milers Invitational last April. Inspired by the feats of Adriaan Wildschutt who also hails from the Cape, Timotheus says his main focus for 2024 will be the track.
"If I look at 2023 I struggled a lot with niggles that would keep me out for one or two weeks. This year my plans completely changed. My wife gave birth in January so I’m working at the school for the next four months. I’m only going to focus on track. We are going to try and focus on the 5000m. The focus this year is more on recovery and the rest will come."