MACSTEEL Maestro Olympic record holder and World Champion

  • 08-09-2016 15:58 PM

Dear mentors

Wayde van Niekerk was a Maestro from Grade 9 to 12 and flourished under the mentorship of Piere Nel (who has continued to work with him). Piere is the athlete mentor in the Free State region. Huge congratulations to Piere on having an influence on not only the World Champion but also the Olympic World record holder! As is his way, Piere said he is humbled by this young man’s achievements but he also wanted to reaffirm his enthusiasm for the Maestros programme.    

It must be said that not all of you will have such high flying athletes but you all make a difference. But on this particular day Piere, we salute you!


Gill Taylor

National Manager


Dodd crowned SA BMX Champ for third year running

  • 12-10-2015 13:14 PM

The 2015 South African National BMX Championships saw elite men’s shining star Kyle Dodd confirm his wrist injury woes are finally a thing of the past and his quest to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games remains on track after he successfully defended his national title at his home club, Alrode BMX Club in Alberton, Gauteng despite a strong challenge from a flying Alex Limberg.

Dodd suffered a crippling wrist injury in April and after many months of rehabilitation the young star signalled his return to action in emphatic fashion on Sunday as he charged to his third successive elite men’s national title.

Dodd completes miraculous comeback to defend SA BMX crown

  • 30-09-2015 12:40 PM

Current national elite men's BMX Champion Kyle Dodd has bounced back from a potentially career ending wrist injury to be on the start line to defend his SA crown at the Alrode BMX Championships in Gauteng on October 11.

Dodd shattered his wrist in a heavy fall in competition in April that required extensive surgery involving a plate and nine screws, but the main concern was the damage to the ulna nerves controlling his hand, leading many to speculate about his future as the country's top BMX exponent.

However Cycling South Africa sent the 21-year-old Gauteng ace to Durban where his recovery and rehabilitation was handled by the highly regarded Prime Human Performance Institute at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Six months later, Dodd has not only recovered to be able to take his place at the national championships, but the Jeep Team athlete will also travel with the fellow elite South African BMXer Alex Limberg and coach Jonnathan Chislett to the Olympic test event in Rio to familiarise himself with the track, keeping his hopes of qualification for the Games alive.

“I can't actually believe that I am back on my bike,” he enthused. “It is much earlier than expected. I didn't actually plan on finishing this year! The hand is good and strong, and now that I am riding the bike again I am not as sketchy as I thought I would be.”

Dodd said that the serious injury had taken its toll on his confidence, but said that he was rebuilding his mental edge as he returns to elite competition.

“It took me a few weeks just to get confident riding and jumping. It’s taken a while but it has actually helped to make me mentally stronger.”

Dodd will not only aim to retain his elite men's title at Alrode but, more importantly, gain the ever-important UCI points on offer that count towards the crucial Olympic qualification process.

"My Rio dreams are still alive!" said Dodd. "After the Rio test event, I have the nationals and then the important continental champs in Zimbabwe in November.

"Then next year there are three SuperCross races before the Worlds, and then the World Champs is the most important race to get into the Olympics."

Dodd said that he was looking forward to the nationals on his familiar home course, which also forms the last leg of the National Age Group Series.

"Obviously I have missed most of NAG series, but I am just looking forward to racing against guys that I haven't raced against for a while," said Dodd.

"It's not going to be easy," he added. "The level of riding has definitely picked up and there will be a lot of good guys coming after me.

Dodd added that he went to bed at night dreaming of his Olympic Games challenge.

"Throughout my recovery that dream has kept me going. If you don't have dreams like that then you might as well not train and ride."

© Dave Macleod/Gameplan Media


UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup - South Africa puts on quite a show

  • 29-09-2015 14:51 PM

Team South Africa swept their fans off their feet during the road races in the Alexandra Park precinct, in Pietermaritzburg. The second day of this season’s last UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup event brought them no fewer than four gold medals and one bronze.

South African Nicolas Pieter du Preez, H1 Class champion titleholder and ranking leader, added one more win to his perfect performance, finishing the 18.5k race in 54 minutes 15 seconds. He has won every single race he has entered since the beginning of this season. Third in the time trials, Finnish Teppo Polvi moved up the ladder and snatched a silver medal in the road race, finishing 54 seconds behind the winner. After not making podium on Friday, Swiss Benjamin Frueh climbed onto the third step this time around, despite crossing the finish line 4 minutes 17 seconds after the gold medallist. 

South African veteran Ernst Van Dyk, third in the H5 time trials, made strides in the road race and finished first, after completing the 55.4k in 1 hour 43 minutes 11 seconds and beating Friday’s gold medallist, Dutch Tim De Vries. Australian Stuart Tripp completed the podium.

In the T2 Class, fellow South African Goldy Fuchs defeated German Hans-Peter Durst, Friday’s gold medallist and overall ranking leader, at the very end of the race. Both para-cyclists completed the 24.6 kilometers in 45 minutes 43 seconds. American Ryan Boyle got the bronze in this class.

Justine Asher came away with South Africa’s fourth gold medal, repeating her results from Friday, in the H2 Class.

The last South African on the podium was Gerald George Rex, who came in third in the T1 Class. In a repeat from Friday’s time trials, he was beaten by Russian Sergey Semochkin and Swedish Rickard Nilsson.

Team SA reflects on successful Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa

  • 21-09-2015 09:30 AM

Team South Africa won 35 medals, including 13 gold, at the fifth Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa.

In 2008, in Pune, India the team finished fourth, this was bettered in 2011 in the Isle of Man, where the team finished third with 30 medals, eight of them gold.

South Africa jumped to second in Apia with a significant improvement in gold medals, finishing only behind Australia and ahead of the likes of England, Malaysia, India and New Zealand.
The swimming and athletics squads were South Africa’s star performers as they won the most gold medals (six each). The swimming squad contributed the most medals as they secured 25 podium finishes, which included six gold, six silver and 12 bronze medals. The athletics squad picked up 10 medals, including six gold, one silver and three bronze.

In 2011, it was Australia that claimed gold at the expense of South Africa. This time round, Rugby sevens claimed gold with victory in the final against Australia, bring South Africa’s final medal tally to 35.

Boxing, lawn bowls and tennis who had two athletes in their respective teams failed to medal but produced respectable performances in tough fields. Both tennis players made it to the semi finals and had to withdraw due to illness, as did the lawn bowls team in the mixed pairs.

South Africa’s Chef de Mission Clifford Cobers was delighted with the performances of the team. ‘Our goal for the Commonwealth Youth Games was to equal or better the 30 medals won in the Isle of Man as well as maintain or better the third place achieved in 2011. We exceeded our expectations on both levels finishing with 35 medals and a second place in the overall medals standings. Countries such as Australia and England in particular sent very large teams to compete and the standard of the competition was exceptionally high. Many of our athletes achieved personal best times in their respective events and the team achieved 13 gold medals compared to the eight of 2011. This crop of medal winners will hold us in good stead towards future games and the experiences they received here in Apia, together with the more focused support and preparation programme, will ensure that these athletes are nurtured to become future medal achievers at the highest level. I am very happy with what we have achieved in Apia, we certainly did South Africa proud,’ said Cobers.

SASCOC President Gideon Sam and Vice President Les Williams were both present at the international youth event to show their support.


Gold: Tlotliso Leotlelo (100m and 200m), Mpho Tladi (110m hurdles), Renate van Tonder (Long Jump), Taylon Bieldt (100m Hurdles) Werner Visser (Discus)
Silver: Werner Visser (Shot Put)
Bronze: Kyle Appel (200m), Burger Lambrechts (Discus and Shot Put)

Gold: Zane Waddell (50m Butterfly, 50m Backstroke, 50m Freestyle), Erin Gallagher (50m Butterfly), mens 4 x 100 Individual Medley (Neil Fair, Zane Waddell, James Isemonger and Brendan Levy), Mixed Relay team (Erin Gallagher, Jamie Reynolds, Zane Waddell and James Isemonger)
Silver: Erin Gallagher (100m Freestyle, 50m Freestyle), Kaylene Corbett (100m Breaststroke, 50m Breaststroke), James Isemonger (50m Breaststroke), Nathania van Niekerk (200m Backstroke)
Bronze: Nathania van Niekerk (100m Backstroke), Brendan Levy (200m Butterfly, 100m Butterfly), James Isemonger (100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke), Neil Fair (400m Individual Medley, 200m Backstroke, 200m Individual Medley), Kaylene Corbett (200m Breaststroke) Women’s 4 x 100m Individual Medley, Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay and Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay.

Rugby Sevens
Heino Bezuidenhout, Immanuel Libbok, Embrose Papier, Stedman Gans, Curwin Bosch, Francois Agenbag, Donovan du Randt, Hacjivah Dayimane, Johan Visser, Damian Willemse, Johannes Pretorius and Mfundo Ndlovu.

Emerging stars savour alpha male fish fronting

  • 07-09-2015 11:57 AM

Cape Town based duo Stuart Maclaren and Brandon van der Walt are fired-up to go toe-to-toe with the country’s top K2 crews at this year’s Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon in Cradock from 9-10 October having risen rapidly through the South African canoeing ranks in recent years.

201 saw Maclaren and Van der Walt surge to a memorable fourth place Hansa Fish finish – despite still being an Under-23 combination – and two years on the pair are confident they can take step things up yet again as they look to do battle against their more senior rivals.

“We’re just so amped for this year’s Hansa Fish!” said an eager Maclaren. Even though things didn’t quite go our way in 2013 with us having a swim early on, etc., fourth was still great. It would be silly not to say we want to better our result this year though; hopefully a podium is on the cards, or maybe even better!” he added determinedly.

Enthusiastic ahead of October’s Cradock assignment, the pair are also well aware of the magnitude of the challenge that stands in front of them if they are to stand aloft the podium.

The Kayak Racing/MACSTEEL Maestros pair will have to rival defending K2 Marathon World Champs Hank McGregor (Jeep Team/Kayak Centre) and Jasper Mocké (Mocké Paddling) and the ever-present Andy Birkett (Euro Steel) and Greg Louw (Knysna Racing), the two crews who pipped them to the post for World Champs qualification at the recent SA Marathon Champs.

“Crews like Hank and Jasper and Andy and Greg are unbelievable and it will be a really tough task taking them on at Fish. We’re still quite young and while a guy like Grant van der Walt was able to box with the big boys from a young age, the rest of us know we’ve had to bide our time. I feel we’ve now paid our school fees to a degree though and after this year’s SA Marathon Champs in Pietermaritzburg, Brandon (van der Walt) and I have a bit of a bone to pick with them,” Maclaren cautioned.

Despite not going to World Champs as a pair, Friday still sees Van der Walt – a teacher at Bergvliet High School – jetting off to Gyor, Hungary as he looks to go one better than his 2013 runners-up finish in the Under-23 Men’s K1 clash.

The Kalk Bay resident’s Worlds preparations have impacted on his and Maclaren’s time in the boat together however the duo are not concerned by this ahead of the Cradock clash due to their strong bond both on and off the water.

“Brandon is absolutely flying at the moment!” said Maclaren. "At last week’s Peninsula time trial – which on any given day could have as many as eight world champions on the start line – Brandon went and smashed the K1 record as he’s looked really good at our Orka Squad trainings! I guess for me it’s just about trying to avoid being baggage in the back of the boat,” laughed the Newlands resident.

While the title hopefuls’ are well aware of the McGregor/Mocké and Birkett/Louw threats, the pair believe their challenge may in fact be an even taller one than that.

“Who knows what the likes of Ben (Biggs) and Ali (Glass) are planning or what they might pull out of the hat, just as they did two years ago on day one. Sbonelo Khwela and Banetse Nkhoesa looked really strong at SA Marathon Champs and you can never discount the chance of an international crew or two being at the Hansa Fish!” added Maclaren.

The Hansa Fish River Canoe marathon takes place on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 October 2015. More information can be found at

Wayde van Niekerk takes Gold at the IAAF World Championships

  • 26-08-2015 22:12 PM

Beijing – Wayde van Niekerk handed South Africa its first sprint medal in a major championship with gold in the 400m final today in a new national record and a world leading time of 43.48 seconds.

The feat was Team SA’s first gong at the ongoing IAAF World Championships. Van Niekerk (23), capped a season in which he started as the national champion in April and went on to beat the world’s best sprinters in the one-lap race a few months later. It was the case of lightning striking twice for the University of Free State marketing student who started late on the European circuit because he had his mid-year examinations to overcome first.

His victory today completed a double victory over American LaShawn Merritt, who settled for silver in a personal best 43.65 seconds and Kirani James of Grenada who took bronze in a season best 43.78 seconds. Van Niekerk beat Merritt in the semifinals to win the heat on Monday.

Prior to the world championships, the Kovsies runner also stunned Olympic champion James in a Diamond League meting in France in July, the same month he went on to defeat African champion Isaac Makwala in London.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula congratulated the sprinting sensation on his recent win. "Despite the challenges we face as a country, South Africa has many men and women who continue to imbue us with a sense of determination and will to do more, Wayde van Niekerk is one of those people. I congratulate and thank him for reminding us that we are truly a winning nation. Well done, thank you for making South Africa proud."

Silver for Le Clos and Van der Burgh at Worlds

  • 06-08-2015 15:08 PM

Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos gave up their respective world titles but added two silver medals to South Africa’s tally on the fourth day of the swimming programme at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia on Wednesday. It was a fight to the finish in the 50-metre breaststroke, where Van der Burgh ended in second place with a time of 26.66 behind Great Britain’s Adam Peaty in 26.51. The bronze in the event went to USA’s Kevin Cordes in 26.86. ‘It was not South Africa’s night; we have a lot of work to do ahead of the Olympic Games where we can trade the two silvers from this year and get gold next year. We are still very proud, two silver medals is nothing to be sad about.’ concluded Van der Burgh. Van der Burgh will be in action on Thursday as he takes on the 200m breaststroke alongside young SA newcomer Ayrton Sweeney. 

In the 200m butterfly, Le Clos was in the lead until the 100m mark but had to settle for the silver in the end with a time of 1:53.68, just 0.20sec behind the winner, Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh in 1:53.48. The bronze medal was claimed by Poland’s Jan Switkowski in 1:54.10. ‘It was a disappointing night for me but I also want to congratulate my friend, Laszlo. This is my first big defeat since the Olympics in 2012 and there is no easy way to take it but I’m still happy with my silver medal as it takes the pressure off next year. ‘The game plan was to go out hard and not to give him the lead but it did not work out as planned but I will be back in the 100m butterfly on Friday.’ concluded Le Clos.

South Africa still lie ninth on the medals table with four medals, courtesy of Chad Ho’s gold in the 5km open water swim, Van der Burgh’s silver in the 100m breaststroke and Wednesday’s two silvers. South Africa’s men’s water polo team wrap up their campaign on Thursday when they tackle Kazakhstan.

No medals but SA cyclists put up good showing in Nottwil

  • 03-08-2015 15:41 PM

It was a quiet day for the South African team at the UCI para-cycling Road World Championships in Nottwill, Switzerland on Saturday. And while no medals came the way of SA there were still some solid performances. Friday had seen Pieter du Preez, Justine Marais and Ernst van Dyk win two gold and a bronze respectively. Saturday’s best results was George Rex’s fifth spot in the Men’s T1 road race over 21 kilometres where he was 10min 30sec behind France’s Quintin Aubague. Also in action was Goldy Fuchs (pictured above) in the men’s T2 race where he ended seventh, 4:29 down on Germany’s Hans-Pieter Durst’s 52:28 over the 28km course. And then there was Craig Ridgard in the men’s C2 category raced over 56 kilometres. He ended 1:42 off the pace as Peru’s Israel Hilario Rimas won in 1:29:04.

With sub-20 clocking in Lucerne, Van Niekerk joins sprinting elite

  • 20-07-2015 15:34 PM

Sprints were in the spotlight at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting in Lucerne last Tuesday.

South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk followed up his sensational 43.96 400m win over Kirani James at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris with the first sub-20-second 200m race of his career.

Competing on the eve of his 22nd birthday, he crossed the finish-line in a lifetime best of 19.94 in the ‘B’ race, finishing in front of last year’s Diamond Race winner Alonso Edward, who set a season’s best of 20.03.

Not only was Van Niekerk’s time a South African record, but he also joined a select group of three other sprinters to have run faster than 20 seconds for 200m and 44 seconds for 400m, the others being Michael Johnson, LaShawn Merritt and Isaac Makwala.

Having seen his national record fall just seven minutes earlier, Van Niekerk’s compatriot Anaso Jobodwana ran 20.12 to win the ‘A’ race.

Olympic Games shake up

  • 13-03-2015 22:12 PM

It is being billed as the biggest shake-up of the Olympic Games for 15 years. The 40-point ''Olympic Agenda 2020'' of International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach was ratified at the International Olympic Committee''s annual meeting in Monaco, paving the way for widespread changes in one of the world’s  biggest sporting events.

How big are the changes?

They''re the biggest since the Salt Lake City scandal when members were accused of taking bribes from organisers of the 2002 Winter Olympics. These latest 40-point reforms are also an opportunity for Bach to make his mark as president.

How will they affect the Games?

Future Olympics could be unrecognisable in the sense that it may mean that a solitary city no longer hosts the Games. A nation could spread the events across the country. There would also be provision for the Games to be cross-nation, meaning more than one country acting as host, much like football’s European Championships, the Rugby World Cup or the Cricket World Cup which is currently taking place in New Zealand and Australia.

What is the thinking behind it?

Primarily, it is aimed at cutting the costs of acting as host and is, in part, a response to a number of prospective hosts withdrawing from the bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, leaving just Beijing and Almaty. It also comes in the wake of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, whose spend was a record $51 billion (R585bn).
The changes mean that bids will no longer be made in the same way, more via an invitation process – called an "assistance phase" – in which the IOC can answer any possible queries or concerns for those aiming to put forward a bid as host. Cities vying for the Games are also encouraged to use existing venues where possible to avoid white elephants in the aftermath.

Will there be any sporting changes?

The IOC has now abolished the cap of 28 sports, paving the way for others to be introduced, the body is keen to push forward sports such as skateboarding and surfing at the future Games. It also means Tokyo 2020, as hosts, can push for the reintroduction of baseball and softball – hosts are allowed to press for the inclusion of one or more events at their Games.
It also gives hope for sports like squash, that have been continually pushing for a role at the Olympics. However a cap has been placed on the number of events at 310 and athletes at 10 500, meaning established sports with a bigger remit, such as athletics, which contributes one fifth of the competitors, and swimming will have to lose certain disciplines. There are rumours athletics, for example, could lose the triple jump and race walking.

What other changes are afoot?

The IOC is pushing ahead with the launch of a digital channel that is expected to cost $600m over the next seven years and be run by Olympic Broadcasting Services in Madrid. The aim is to promote Olympic sports and engage with younger viewers. In a reaction to events in Russia, the IOC is to rid the movement of any discrimination of "race, colour, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion". There is also a push for more mixed-gender events.

Story courtesy The Independent

2022 Commonwealth Games Bid

  • 14-01-2015 00:00 AM

South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee is currently engaged with Sport and Recreation South Africa, the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and the City of Durban in delivering a bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG).

The bidding process for the CWG requires enormous time, dedication and resources in order for one to put forward a successful bid.

With our focus solely on delivering the games to the city of Durban, the Board of SASCOC will not be diverted from this mission.

Tubby Reddy, CEO of SASCOC, said: "The Board of SASCOC is at this time fully committed to bidding for the Commonwealth Games in 2022. The first step is to win the bid and then to deliver a successful Games."

At this stage SASCOC is being inundated with queries from both the local and international media on whether SASCOC is intending to bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

"The Board has not received any notification or correspondence from the International Olympic Committee with regard to the bidding process for the 2024 Olympic Games. Therefore, the issue of South Africa bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games does not arise", Mr Reddy emphasized.

"Once this communiqué is received, the SASCOC Board will engage with Honourable Minister Fikile Mbalula and National Government on whether one is going to consider an Olympic Games bid in 2024", Mr Reddy added.

Mr Reddy said: "Winning the bid for the CWG will be very significant for the City of Durban, especially as the other city is Edmonton, Canada. Canada has already hosted the Games four times. We are seriously focused on the prize of winning the bid and we will not be distracted by other issues that have not been sanctioned by the SASCOC Board".

Magerman swaps hoops for hurdles and Olympic gold

  • 05-08-2014 00:00 AM
MACSTEEL Maestro Athlete: Gezelle Magerman

A year before Gezelle Magerman joined up with her South African team-mates for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, she was told to choose between a career in netball and a tilt at Olympic gold.

She chose the latter, and it paid off on 25 August, when she swept to victory in the women's 400m hurdles in Nanjing. "It was a difficult decision. I was given a week to make up my mind," she recalled. "I spoke to mum and my grandma and they asked me the question, "In which one do you think you'll go furthest?" That was athletics and it was the right choice. In the race I was like, "Gezelle you have a lot of energy left, let's use it to the limit and see what happens"."

What happened was a personal best time of 57.91 seconds and with it South Africa's first medal at the Games, but Magerman is keen to keep her prize away from prying eyes. "I'm definitely keeping this medal in a room, in a box," she said. "Nobody touches it but me."

The race was big on drama as Eileen Demes (GER) crashed into a hurdle and fell at the 200m mark. The crash meant that Anne Sofie Fruerskov Kirkegaard (DEN) had to keep her focus to stay on track and take the bronze. "I kept running and I was telling myself over and over again to just run faster and try to win a medal," she said after crossing the line.

There was glory for France as they secured first place in the men's javelin final with a personal best distance of 74.48m from Lukas Moutarde. "To even be here in a final is already great for me," he said. "So to get on a podium is just incredible."

In the men's 800m final, Myles Marshall (USA) took gold ahead of Geofrey Balimumiti (UGA) with a time of 1 minute, 49.14 seconds. "Part of the plan was to get out of the mess and have my own little lane to run in," said Marshall. "Getting overtaken at the second to last corner didn't matter. In the last 200m of the race, I knew I was going to lay it down."

There was also a special thank you from Amos Kirui (KEN) for his silver medal performance in the men's 2,000m steeplechase final behind gold medal winner, Wogene Sebisibe Sidamo (ETH). "It was very tough," he said. "But I thank God because he has made me great."

Men's hockey go down fighting

  • 01-08-2014 00:00 AM
MACSTEEL Maestro Athlete: Austin Smith

The men's Hockey team were beaten 5-2 by tournament favourites India on Thursday evening. It was always going to be a challenge for the boys as we faced the mammoth task of defeating the tournament favourites.

After the first half South Africa were 4-0 down and facing a possible drubbing.

India were at their brilliant best at times but South Africa did not help themselves in the first half with a number of unforced errors, yet the fight back of the South Africans from the desperate position of trailing by four goals to a 4-2 score early in the second half says much for them. Unfortunately it wasn't enough as we eventually went down 5 goals to 2.

There are many positives to take out of the Commonwealth Games for the Men's Hockey side as the future looks bright.

Strong Shaw!

  • 01-08-2014 00:00 AM
MACSTEEL Maestro Athlete: Gordon Shaw

The 22 year old Shaw finished in 5th place overall and although he did not win a medal Shaw can be proud of his 5th place finish and overall lift of 350kgs.

Gordon Shaw competed in the Men's +105 Group A Weightlifting on Thursday evening.

The future looks promising for Gordon Shaw!

The 22 year old Shaw finished in 5th place overall and although he did not win a medal Shaw can be proud of his 5th place finish and overall lift of 350kgs.

Gordon Shaw competed in the Men's +105 Group A Weightlifting on Thursday evening.

The future looks promising for Gordon Shaw!

Becket Bounces Back!

  • 01-08-2014 00:00 AM
MACSTEEL Maestro Athlete: Kirsten Becket

On Thursday the 31st July 18 year old Kirsten Beckett competed in the Women's Vault Final as well as the Women's Uneven Bars Final.

Beckett, hoping to redeem herself from Wednesday's 15th place disappointment in the Women's All Round Final seemed to be back to her best as she managed to finish 6th position in both events and salvage some pride.

Van Niekerk Struggles

  • 01-08-2014 00:00 AM
MACSTEEL Maestro Athlete: Wayde Van Niekerk

Wayde van Niekerk, silver medallist in the men's 400m on Thursday had struggled through to fifth spot in the 200m second heat with time of 20.69. To be fair though, he had done his stuff for the team the previous day.

There was much expectation placed on Van Niekerk after his success in the 400m . Unfortunately Van Niekerk could not replicate the success in the 200m but the youngster can be proud of his achievements at the games.

Paralympian double amputee gets law degree

  • 26-05-2014 00:00 AM
MACSTEEL Maestro Athlete: Samkelo Radebe

Paralympian sprinter Samkelo Radebe might soon hang up his running gear for a suit to make changes in the legal world.

It has only been four days since he graduated from his LLB studies at the University of Johannesburg, but the 24-year-old double-amputee already has dreams on how he could put his qualification to good use.

"What I do as an athlete is for the present. My degree will ensure that I have a bright future."

"The sporting lifespan of a sprinter is shorter than that of any athlete, and not every athlete can be a sprinter. I had to find something that would sustain me beyond the track," he says.

Radebe, who is doing his articles at Werksmans in Sandton, graduated on Thursday.

His lecturer Elmarie Fourie describes him as a typical example of someone who never allowed his disability to stand in the way of living a full life.

"Samkelo was enthusiastic and very dedicated. He never requested for any special privileges," she said.

Radebe said he was not yet certain about which area of law he wants to focus on, but was interested in one day contributing to changes in Sports Law.

He said his sporting career played a major role in his decision to study further as only a handful of athletes had much to show but medals for their hard work.

Rabede said: "Based on my experience, coming by sponsorships and endorsement deals in athletics is very difficult. As long as you're not playing rugby, soccer or cricket, then your sporting career is a liability to you."

Radebe lost both his arms when as a nine-year-old boy he was electrocuted by high voltage wires while playing with friends.

He started competing professionally as a teenager, bagging over 50 gold medals and nearly 20 SA records for the 100m, 200m, 400m and long and high jumps.

One of his fondest memories is being in the same relay team as blade runner, Oscar Pistorious during the 2012 Paralympics — for which they won gold for the 4x100m race setting a world record of 41.78-secs.

Radebe is not mum about his support for Pistorius — who is standing trial for killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valetine's Day last year.

Radebe said he tried to be updated on the case because of his personal interest in Pistorius.

"The law will run its course, his guilt or innocence is not for me to decide. For being my role model and learning from him throughout my career, he has my support."