Young athlete dreams big

She hails from rural Silobela, runs 12 kilometres to and from school every week day, trains barefooted and has her sights firmly set on being the next big thing in world athletics.
After qualifying for the IAAF World Junior Championships set for the United States in July, 16-year-old Enlitha Ncube says she wants to make the most of this “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“This is my chance to change my life for the better,” Ncube told The Sunday Mail as she trained under the watchful eye of one of her coaches, Njere Shumba, at the University of Zimbabwe last week.

Ncube, who is part of the Zimbabwean team that is competing at the Southern Region Junior Athletics Championships in South Africa, qualified for the world championships after clocking 4 minutes, 13 seconds in the 1 500 metre race at last month’s Confederation of School Sport Association of Southern Africa (COSSASA) Games in Gaborone, Botswana.

Her time was 15 seconds inside the standard qualifying time.
“I’m very happy to have achieved this, qualifying for such a big event is something I never thought would happen to me.

“Now I intend to go to the USA and show them that I am one of the best,” she said.
With a ticket to the world championships already in the bag, Ncube is confident of also qualifying for the World Youth Games set for Nanjing, China, in August.

The African Youth Games, to be held in Botswana from May 22-31, will be used as the qualifying event for the World Youth Games.

Shumba, Midlands Province’s Nash head of athletics, reckons Ncube is a gold medal prospect for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“I believe Enlitha will make it for Rio 2016. All she needs is support because there is no doubt that she has the talent,” he said.

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