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  • Writer's pictureThathe Msimango

'I wanted to quit' - Kubheka announces return with encouraging victory at Harry Gwala 10km

South African road running sensation Sibusiso Kubheka says being sidelined for almost a year taught him to be patient and understand that in life sometimes things happen that are beyond your control. In 2021, Kubheka was in a red hot form, placing sixth in the national 21km Championship in a lifetime best of 01:01:36. Then he surprised many by taking a celebrated fifth position in the Nedbank Runfied Breaking Barriers 50km race in a time of 2:42:56.

Sbusiso Kubheka is back and says being sidelined by injury taught him patience. Photo Credit: Supplied.

But a persistent hamstring injury meant he had to sit out for almost nine months last year while he nursed the injury. With that disappointing experience now behind him, Kubheka announced his return with a resounding performance over the weekend when he ran under 29 minutes to win the Harry Gwala Marathon 10k race in Umzikhulu, South of KwaZulu-Natal. He says that performance was a reminder that he can still be competitive.

"It feels good to be winning again. I have missed it to be honest. Last year, I spent too much time out of running due to injury," he told #TheTopRunner. "At one stage, I wanted to quit because I was taking too long to heal. It was frustrating because before that I was in good shape and performing very well. People were also expecting good results from me. I think the injury taught me to be patient with some things. If I wasn't then it could have even ended my career as the athlete. I'm thank all of those who supported me through bad times," said the man who is coached by Xolani Mabhida.

Kubheka training alongside Jobo Khotoane and Pkaiso Mthembu. Photo Credit: Xolani Mabhida.

While he is excited by his performance over 10km, the 26-year-old Xcel Running Club athlete believes that it might take more time to regain his old form over the longer distances. His next assignment is to run the Nelson Mandela Bay Half Marathon which incorporates the ASA 21km championships in Gqeberha, where he will form part of the KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) squad for the event scheduled to take place on the 3rd of June. "I take today's performance as the big morale boost heading to the nationals (half marathon) next month. I need to do well there. I'm still not in the best shape yet, but I need to produce a good performance. I know that slowly I'll reach that point. I must understand that it might take time, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens."

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