• Thathe Msimango

Nene uses SA Champs to build toward the World Relays

Durban-based 400m specialist Zakithi Nene is amongst the medal hopefuls for KwaZulu-Natal Athletics( KZNA) at the Sizwe Medical Fund Athletics South Africa (ASA) Track & Field Championship which got underway at the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria this morning.


Zakithi Nene of the University of Kwazulu Natal at the start of the mens 400m during the 2018 Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

Nene who is the reigning SA 400m Champion after winning the title in 2019, is expected to draw the battle lines with world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk, Lythe Pillay and Oscar Mavundla for the national crown. But the man, who clocked his seasonal best of 45:64 during the KZNA championship in March isn't focussing too much on that performance. He says his training has been going quite well and aims to improve gradually as the season progresses.

"I'm feeling strong, healthy if I can say," said Nene. "I don't want to say much now. But the training has gone well as I have been feeling energized. My body is reacting quite well. I can't say what exactly I'm hoping to achieve during the Champions but the main goal is to take each race as it comes. We still have to run the heats, so the main focus is to do well. And if it happens that I'm in the final then I would start to think about what to achieve," he explained.



The 23-year-old Fast Feet athlete believes the main goal for him is to represent the country at the World Relay Championship in Poland next month as he was named in a strong 4×400m squad released on Thursday which consists of Nierkerk, Mavundla, Pillay, Ranti Dikgale and Barend Koerkomoer. And he sisn't ruling out the possibility of being on the plane to the Tokyo Olympics.


"I told myself I need to do well in the Championships in order to get selected to the squad," said the University of KwaZulu-Natal Bcom Accounting graduate. "The national championships are crucial for me to build for Poland next month as I need to be on a level where the team can be able to achieve a medal. That has been my plan this year to represent the country. Obvious the Olympic dream is still on my mind but I need to put out a strong showing to make a reality," he said.


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