The Sunday Mail
NGONI MAKUSHA’S management team knew they needed to think outside the box if they were to help the diminutive speedster achieve his goal of qualifying for this year’s International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
With two gold medals and a personal best time under his belt already; Team Makusha looks to have found the missing piece to the puzzle- abandon the 24-year-old’s favoured 100-meter race and concentrate on the 200.
“It’s all about relieving some of the workload,” said the Chitungwiza-bred runner.
“After the holidays, we sat down as a team and decided that I should concentrate on the 200-meter race as it is the race where I stand the best chance of qualifying for the World Champs.
“It also reduces my workload and allows me to focus all my training and energy into one thing,” he said.
Makusha made his long awaited return to the track last weekend; taking part in the Gauteng North Athletics Championships and the Potchefstroom Athletics Meet. The 24-year-old not only collected two gold medals from the two meets, but he also managed to achieve a personal best time of 20.49 seconds in the semi-finals of the Gauteng North Athletics Championships. The biggest takeaways from those races — and the first indication that Makusha is in the right direction— is that the Zimbabwean Speedster just missed the World Championship qualifying time by 0.9 seconds. The qualifying time for the Qatar games currently stands at 20.40 seconds.
“I would be lying if I said that I am disappointed at narrowly missing the mark for the world championships, but there were some positives to be had from my performance in South Africa,” said Makusha.
“For instance, I managed to ran my personal best time so early in the season and I can only get better and better as the season unfolds. I came really close to qualifying for the World Champs and with a little more training and hard work, I am fairly confident that I will definitely achieve my goal in the next few races.
“I just have to work on my weaknesses, put more hours in training and in the gym and I should make it to Qatar,” he said.
The 24-year-old returned home, Wednesday night, and is expected to resume training tomorrow in preparation for the Spar Grand Prix Series in South Africa next month.
“I’ve got some grand prix series races in South Africa next month, where the main goal will not be on medals but on running the best possible times. There is also Gaborone international meet on 27 April, which will be one of my last chances of qualifying for the World Champs,” he said.