Thankful for fast feet

TINOTENDA MATIYENGA once told his widowed mother that his quick feet would take him far.

Those quick feet have already taken Matiyenga, who turns 19 tomorrow, to the United States where he is on scholarship at Texas Christian University.

However, the sprinter they nicknamed Booster at Prince Edward High School says he is not done yet.

“The Olympics and the World Championships are my biggest goals,” said Matiyenga.

“Here in the States I have everything I have always wanted back home, a gym, a track physio on my beck and call and I’m sure I will improve without a doubt.”

But before he steps onto the Olympic stage Matiyenga first has to deal with the IAAF World U20 Championships in Finland this week.

He is one of seven Zimbabwean athletes expected to participate at the U20 Championships from July 10-15.

The speedster heads to Finland against the backdrop of having achieved his personal best time of 10.27 in 100m during a meet in Austin a few weeks ago.

“The time I spent training and working hard seems to be paying off,” said Matiyenga who is now based in a land where stories of mothers who have been pillars in their sons’ sports careers are common.

In NBA, Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Houston Rockets’ James Harden are some of the stars whose mothers played a huge supportive role in their careers.

It is something Matiyenga can relate to as he lost his father when he was just one year old.

“Mum is my hero,” said the sprinter.

“She has made me push for the best, supporting me and making sure I did not quit.”

Meanwhile, Matiyenga’s mother, Memory, insists it’s all about God’s grace.

“Tino’s father passed on when he was only one-year and a month old, now he is turning 19 pursuing what he loves. It can only be God’s grace,” she said.

“I realised his talent when he was still at Hallingbury Primary School where the school exempted him from paying fees because at that time he was the fastest in the country in his age group.

“I remember declaring that it was the beginning of many scholarships for him and I am glad God opened them. I urge all parents to support their children in pursuing their dreams.”

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