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Smiles all round as Samkelo sprints to double qualification
- Updated: March 28, 2013
Two A standard qualifying times and a whole lot of smiles summed up Paralympian Samkelo Radebe’s Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled in Pretoria on Wednesday’s final day of competition.
The sprinter has come away from the track and field event with exactly what he wanted, A-standard qualifying times for this year’s World Championships in France.
On Monday night Radebe pushed fellow Paralympian Arnu Fourie hard in the 200-metre, while his race in the 100m was a lot easier, where he won comfortably to end a good Championships for him. Afterwards he was happy about achieving his goals in Pretoria.
ÔÇ£Yesterday was good for both me and Arnu, it’s always an honour to run with him and I needed him to qualify, because I know that he is fast enough to help me get an A qualifying time. I also got the A qualifying standard for the 100m and I’m happy about that,ÔÇØ Radebe said.
ÔÇ£I feel I could have been faster, but its just one of those things. It wasn’t meant to be.ÔÇØ
Describing his London 2012 appearance as ÔÇ£madnessÔÇØ, Radebe certainly wants more than just a taste of Paralympic glory, which he achieved as part of the relay team that won gold and set the world record.
The next step for the Soweto-born runner, who lost both his forearms when his kite got caught in electrical wires as a child, is to focus on the World Championships, and look for a good time in the T45 class in both the 100m and 200m sprints.
ÔÇ£We took a bit of time off to recover from the madness of Paralympics. It was amazing but we’re back on track now training for the World Championships to do well there.
ÔÇ£I think I need to work on speed and endurance ÔÇô endurance to maintain that speed. Everything else is there, but I need that to make a good impression so I can make the team for the World Championships.”
There was one tinge of sadness as the 4×100 relay team failed in their bid for a qualification time, but Radebe said that this was a priority for him and his team-mates as there was a bigger picture involved.
ÔÇ£We need to qualify for ourselves and our country.┬áWe need to do our best for South Africa, so its important that we qualify,ÔÇØ he added.
Radebe believes they hold an even more important part of the South African athletics calendar than before.
ÔÇ£It is a great platform for us ÔÇô the best one on the continent. There is no other competition where we can qualify for international competition. Nedbank made them for us and we have to own them. We have to take responsibility and make sure we perform. I do appreciate the platform ÔÇô these games are everything to us.ÔÇØ
There was also much excitement as Anrune Liebenberg ran an African record in her T46┬á100m event, winning in 13.07 to set a new South African and African mark. Carley Lomax also set a new South African mark in the T12┬á100m event, winning in 14.01 while Namibia’s Ananias Shikongo also added a South African record in the men’s T11┬á100m event and gained an A-standard qualifying time in the process.