The Sunday Mail
LIFE has taught Ngoni Makusha that you can never run away from yourself no matter how fast you are.
The 23-year-old sprinter appears to be hitting form at the right time as the journey to next year’s World Championship and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics start in earnest.
Last month, Makusha ran personal best times of 10.25 seconds in 100 meters and 20.63 seconds in 200m at the Liquid Telecom Grandprix Series in South Africa. The Zimbabwean’s efforts were rated among the IAAF top 20 leading times in March.
Yet Makusha, who started running professionally three years ago, wanted to take another route in his life.
“If I had my way I would probably be a rugby player or a teacher,” he revealed.
“But I have come to a point where I think being an athlete is actually a calling. I applied several times for a teaching course but it didn’t come through.
“Being a sprinter is an in-born thing for me, my mother and father were both sprinters so they probably gave me the genes.”
Having broken sprint records at school, Makusha decided to take athletics seriously in 2015, training with coach David Tinago.
The huge strides he made saw the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee awarding him an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship last year.
“That scholarship was a major boost for me. It’s been motivating me to push harder because I need to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and next year the Doha World Championships,” Makusha said. The sprinter has already qualified for the African Senior Championships to be held in Nigeria in August and intends to use the Zimbabwe national championships (May 12-13) and the Botswana Championships on May 20 to warm up for the continental championships.
“I’ve been putting in the work,” he said.
“During pre-season I was doing three sessions a day working on strength and technique and the results of that showed in South Africa. I believe there is still more to come since it’s just the beginning of the season.”
Meanwhile, Makusha’s coach Tinago notes that it’s essential to train smart and keep the athlete injury free.
“At the end of the season we want to be in the top 20 on the world IAAF rankings,” said the coach.
The athlete is ranked 80 in the 200m category and 84 in 100m.
“Our plans for him to improve involve making sure that he trains smart, give him international meets to compete at and most importantly, keep him injury free.
“He is humble, a hard worker and doesn’t give up easily so working with him is not difficult at all.”