INSPIRED by his bronze medal achievement at the 25th World Student Games in Serbia, promising athlete Lungisa Mdedelwa is promising to end the year on a high at the South African cross-country national championships.
The dreadlocked Mdedelwa will represent Eastern Cape at the national championships in Tshwane on September 12, where he will be tackling the senior men's 12km race.
"I could not have asked for a more appropriate way to end my track season than winning a medal at the World Student Games," " said the excited Mdedelwa.
"There is very little time to celebrate the achievement because I have started with my training for the cross-country championships. I want to make winning medals a habit.
"I will continue training hard when I get back home in Bhizana. I plan to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in India next year and be part of the team going there. The bigger picture is the 2012 London Olympics. It has been a long time since South Africa had athletes in the 10000m since Hendrick Ramaala started focusing on road running.
"We have some brilliant up-and-coming athletes in our country, but I'm happy Athletics South Africa has been organising training camps for various teams to prepare for international competitions."
Top South African coach Mlungisi "Jazz" Mnyengeza is confident that Mdedelwa and Sibabalwe Mzazi have the potential to take over from Ramaala in the 10000m event. Mzazi won a gold medal in the same event in Serbia.
"The shortage of women in the 5000m and 10000m is also cause for concern, but ASA is dealing with that through their talent-identification programme," Mnyengeza said.