Richardson shifts focus to books after bagging two medals

Matric pupil is catching up after championships

Benjamin Richardson won two medals for SA at the World U20 Championships.
Benjamin Richardson won two medals for SA at the World U20 Championships.
Image: Roger Sedres

SA's sensational teenage sprinter Benjamin Richardson did not expect to return from the under-20 World Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, with two medals. 

The lanky sprinter won two medals in the men's 100m and 4x100m relay in the East African country.

The ever-smiling athlete clocked 10.28 seconds to win a silver medal in the 100m, and he intends to go one better at the next World Junior Championships in Cali, Colombia, next year.

Richardson and 4x100m teammates Mihlali Xhotyeni, Sinesipho Dambile and Letlhogonolo Moleyane secured victory after a brilliant, tactical relay race.

“We got tested every two days in Nairobi. We stayed in a bio-bubble, and we were not allowed to leave our rooms,” Richardson told Sowetan.

The 17-year-old Richardson is in grade 12 at the Tuks Sport High School, and he has fallen behind schedule in his studies because of preparing and competing in the junior championships.

However, the youngster is confident that he would catch up and pass his matric with flying colours at the end of the year.

“I am not going to sleep. I will study hard and catch up on what I have lost while I was representing my country. I want to pass grade 12 and further my studies at the university next year,” vowed Richardson.

He dedicated his two medals to his family.

“I had massive support from my grandparents and the other members of the family,” he said.

Richardson said he has no role model and looks up to himself in the sport.

“Why would I aspire to be like someone else? I am my own inspiration. I do not have a hero.”

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