Ntuthuko Ndimande’s amazing athletics story continues. He is only turning 17 later this month and yet he came agonizingly close to becoming the South African under-18 champion over 800m when he has pipped at the post at the SA Junior national championships last week.
That’s cause for celebration, but Ntuthuko has high standards and he wasn’t happy with his performance. “For me times are more important than positions at this stage, and I had targeted that race to produce a personal best and qualify for the African championships in July and the Youth Olympics later in the year. It didn’t happen, I missed the time by more than a second and now I’ll have to wait and see if they are going to pick me for the African champs.”
Ntuthuko accepts that there is no under-17 age group in athletics, so he has to run against the under-18s and that he needs to be patient. “That’s fine,” he said, “but I’m still disappointed at not running a PB.”
And while he waits, he will be running cross country for the school. “I’ve been training with the other boys and am looking forward to having fun in the league with them,” he said. “I came second in the inter-district final last year and want to win it this year.”
And then there are the junior world cross country championship in Denmark next year and he has his eye on that too. Like I said, Ntuthuko Ndimande has high standards, it would be foolish to bet against him making it.