Maswanganyi relishing Olympic dream
South African sprinter Phatutshedzo Shaun Maswanganyi is delighted to have clocked Olympic qualifying times in both the 100m and 200m to book his ticket to the Tokyo Olympics. Maswanganyi has been in the blistering form setting new personal best over both distances to highlight the progress he has made since moving to the United States(US) last August after obtaining a scholarship from the University of Houston.
He ran 10:04 over 100m in May before running 20:10 in 200m during NCAA national championships in Eugene, Oregon at the last weekend. The 20-year-old sprinter says after being crowned SA U20 champion 100m last year, he started to believe that he could also be on the plane to Japan.
"I'm not too sure if I can say I'm surprised that I'm going to the Olympics," explains Maswanganyi during a telephonic conversation.
"When I set SA record (U20 record of 10.06) last year it's where I started to believe that I can be in the Olympic team. That performance indicated that I'm making the progress as an athlete. Then I went to the US after getting the scholarship where I got to compete against some good athletes. Then I started to be consistent with my performance. I'm thrilled to be going to the Olympics," he told #TheTopRunner.
The Soweto-born athlete is coached by legendary US sprinter Carl Lewis - whom he has been working with since arriving in the US. Maswanganyi believes the South Africa 4×100m relay team can emulate the success of the World Relay Championship gold in Poland in May, on the biggest stage in the world.
"It's possible we can get the 4×100m relay medal at the Olympics," says the man who ran for Tuks before joining the Cougars. "We have got very talented athletes who can produce results at any time. I'm not too sure what happened in Doha 2019 but still we ran a National Record there. I think we can sort out some small matters like our position then we can easily collect a medal. But I'm sure Akani Simbine must be the last man to take the baton to the finish line. So I believe we can grab a medal," he concluded.