Sibiya aims for clean sweep at Thembisa mile
Course record of 4:02 in runner's sights
SA 1,500m champion Nkosinathi Sibiya is optimistic about his chances of winning the Spar Thembisa mile title on Sunday.
The 1.6km street mile in Ekurhuleni is for elite runners only, with the organisers confirming a field of 60 runners.
Sibiya, 27, is gunning for the course record of 4:02 set by 2018 winner Ryan Mphahlele.
The race will take place at the Moses Molelekwa Arts Centre, next to Makhulong Stadium..
Sibiya, who represents the University of Johannesburg Athletics Club, has a personal best of 4:00 on the track and is confident he can break the course record on the road.
The KwaZulu-Natal-born runner relocated to Johannesburg to enrol in a transportation management diploma with University of Johannesburg last year.
“I plan to run a fast time and win the title. I can run faster than the course record (4:02). I am in the best possible condition and confident that I can win at the weekend. I tell myself that I can do it and I am prepared to push and run a good race,” Sibiya told Sowetan yesterday.
He comes from the same neighbourhood as prominent athletics coach Michael Seme in Newcastle.
Seme mentored him and inspired him to take on athletics, and he is forever grateful to one of the country’s top coaches.
Sibiya was a pacesetter for Olympian Precious Mashele and he played a role when Mashele qualified for the Olympics on the last day in Durban.
Jan van der Merwe, the former coach of 800m great Ezekiel Sepeng and the late Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, is coaching Sibiya.
His long-term goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
The soft-spoken runner said relocating from KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg came with challenges as he lost his sponsors.
“I am pleading for assistance as I used to get assistance in Durban but lost those privileges because I relocated to Joburg in search of better opportunities. I struggle with money to get supplements and other important things to help in my development,” he said.