Bolt of inspiration for sprint star Magakwe
Athletics South Africa (ASA) is sending new sprint sensation Simon Magakwe to Jamaica to learn from the fastest man on earth - Usain Bolt - and company.
"When we started with the World Championships preparations, we made it clear we will help all our athletes," said ASA boss Leonard Chuene.
"Simon has been one of the biggest finds of Athletics South Africa through our talent identification programme.
"We are sending him to Jamaica to learn from the best sprinters in the world. He will be training with Usain Bolt and the other Jamaicans.
"The boy has been making news globally as part of the build-up by the media for the World Championships in Germany in August."
Magakwe, 23, a former soccer player, said: "It's a great thing to have qualified for the World Championships in Germany."
He qualified after a terrific victory in the 100m event at the Yellow Pages South African national championships in Stellenbosch in March, clocking 10,21 seconds. This was after the technical officials ordered a re-run of the final after some runners complained there was a false start by Magakwe.
"I went there [Stellenbosch] to send out a loud and clear message that I'm the best in South Africa, not just to qualify," he said. "ASA have been great to me, it's an honour to go and train with Usain Bolt. I also want to be the fastest sprinter in the world one day."
Magakweplayed soccer in Itsoseng and Carletonville until he sustained a career-threatening injury last April.
"When the injury healed in October, I started training hard on my own. That's when I went back to athletics because I ran when I was still at primary school.
"I can't believe that everything is falling into place because a few years ago I worked for my aunt as a photographer at the Department of Home Affairs in Carletonville."
Molatelo Malehopo, ASA general manager, said Magakwe will leave for Jamaica on Friday and will be there until the end of July.