"This is the first one and much more to come" - Maxime Chaumeton as he goes sub 8 mins over 3000m
Maxime Chaumeton is bullish about the year ahead after laying down a marker that will have raised a few eyebrows this weekend. The University of Johannesburg athlete scorched round the Boksburg Stadium Athletics track in 7:56 to win the 3000m at Central Gauteng Athletics' (CGA) second league meeting of the 2022 track and field season on Saturday. The time set at 1500m above sea level represents a new personal best to eclipse his old mark (8:10.09) by over 10 seconds. The man who trains at Zoo Lake under the watchful eye of coach Hendrick Ramaala says they had been planning to go sub 8.
"I'm super happy! We planned it in advance and I just ran a smooth race to just get under 8 minutes," he told #TheTopRunner. "Second place was Nico Seoposengwe who trains with me and we had been discussing it for the last week and training together. He wanted to do the sub 8 minutes with me but it just wasn't his day. He managed to stick with me till just over 1km and then dropped unfortunately. But his presence definitely helped me to run a fast time," said the 1500m specialist.
The performance leaves Chaumeton enthused with confidence ahead of a season where much is on offer so far as opportunities for international participation are concerned. "Confidence is there. This is the first one and much more to come. My sights are clear on certain competitions. It's still early in the season, so let's just see how the body takes it and take every performance as it comes. I think now is the time to relax the body and focus on the big ones coming up because the season is extremely long and with a performance like this at altitude, it's looking good for me," explained the reigning University Sports South Africa (USSA) 5000m champion.
But the 21-year old is not getting carried away just yet. After missing out on a medal at last year's SA Senior Track and Field Championships and failing to qualify for the Olympic Games, the sub-4 minute miler is adopting a more circumspect approach to a 2022 where the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships will take centre stage.
"Well I think that confidence is something like a rollercoaster - something that's up and down. You have to listen to your coach. Luckily I have great guidance around me like Desmond Mokgobu and Pharson Magagane who chatted to me on Monday and told me to keep just keep focus for the rest of the year. We don't want the same mistakes as last year to repeat themselves on the track," he concluded.