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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Prudence Sekgodišo goes sub 2 as ASA prepare to announce Olympic bonuses for top runners

Where she had to wait until June to run her first sub 2 minute 800m clocking of the year in 2023, Prudence Sekgodišo did it on her first outing of the season this year. On Saturday, the multiple SA 800m and 1500m champion ran a personal best 1:58.05 at an Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) League Meeting at the Pilditch Stadium to win by almost 2 seconds from Botswana national record holder Oratilwe Nowe (2.00.22) and underline her status as a truly world class athlete.

Sekgodišo cruises to an impressive victory at the AGN Track and Field League 5 Meeting. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

Having only broken 2 minutes for this first time less than 2 years ago, the 22-year-old who is coached by Samuel Sepeng has now done so eight times in her career and says the main reason is that she changed her mindset. "I’ve learnt a lot regarding the pressure that I get from people. I can say that now I’m well experienced. I’m just like them. I used to underestimate myself but now running sub 2 is just like an easy thing. It’s just a normal thing to me," she told #TheTopRunner.

And if she can hold that form until August when she represents South Africa at the Olympic Games in Paris then there’s no reason why the Phantane Athletic Club top runner can’t finish inside the medals. For example, in the last three women’s Olympic 800m finals, a finishing time of 1:56 (less than a second a half off Sekgodišo's current lifetime best) or faster has been enough for a medal. And if she can produce her best performance on 5 August in the French capital, then the woman who already has a bronze medal from the African Championships could be handsomely rewarded as well.

ASA President James Moloi ready to show the athletes the money. Photo Credit: Tumelo Mabua.

"It’s not all about me. Leadership is action, it’s not a position. We are planning to put money, which is why I have called a lot of business people," said Athletics South Africa President James Moloi in conversation with #TheTopRunner as he shared the federation plans for the Olympic year.

"I said to them that we are preparing for the Olympics so if one person can win a medal, then we are going to give so much. As long as athletes can know before time, prior to the event then those athletes can be motivated because they will know that Athletics South Africa is going to give you so much when you go back home."

The Paris Olympics get underway on Friday 26 July and run until the 11th of August.

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