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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'The big performances are coming next year' - Chaumeton after Africa Universities cross country win

Despite being forced to endure the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Olympic Games and the agony of a controversial fall at the SA Senior Track and Field Championships, Maxime Chaumeton says 2021 has been a good year for him. The University of Johannesburg top runner was crowned University Sport South Africa 5000m champion with his first sub 14 minute clocking (13:59.11 at altitude), he finished fifth at the SA 10km championships in a new personal best (28:30) and today he cruised to victory at the Africa Universities cross country at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Chaumeton poses with second placed Geoffry ChirChir (31:33) of Egerton University (left) and third placed Emmanuel Ngeno (32:01) of Kenyatta University (right) after winning the race. Photo Credit: Elias Makori.

"The course was flat with a lot of up and down bumps and uneven ground with just a little bit of grass if any," the 21-year old told #TheTopRunner shortly after winning the 10km race in a time of 30:54. Training at 1600m on an undulating, grassy course in one of the City of Johannesburg's most beautiful parks, Chaumeton believes his daily Zoo Lake training was ideal preparation for the cross country race in Kenya. "Zoo Lake training is the best for cross country. It's the best!"

The one challenge that the 1500m specialist did face in East Africa was the heat. "The heat is what killed everyone. Boiling is an understatement. So what I did is that I watched them and warmed up a bit for the first kilometre where they went through in 2:38. Then I took control and played with surges. Soon enough they bombed at around 3km," allowing the man coached by 2004 New York Marathon Hendrick Ramaala to go on and win the race.

Chaumeton leading the SA 10km championships in the colours of Central Gauteng Athletics. The UJ man lead for the first half allowing his training partner and fellow CGA athlete Precious Mashele to win the race. Photo Credit: Anthony Grote.

Although he is happy with his successes on the the varsity circuit, the UJ student is more chuffed with his performance at the Absa DURBAN 10K CITYRUN which doubled as the SA 10km champs. "I think the 10km tops them all, confidence wise. Season is now finished! Finished and klaar. The big performances are coming next year so everyone must watch out," warned a confident Chaumeton.

Meanwhile, Chaumeton's UJ teammate Nicole van der Merwe finished second (40:15) in a race won by Kenya's Diana Wanza (38:03).

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