Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 133, September 2020 - Page 22

Road to Recovery
Athletic Talent
ROAD RUNNING
Sibusiso is a popular regular on the podium at races

Stabbing Motivation

Sibusiso in his steeple chase days on the track
Saturday 12 May is a day that wellknown Cape Town elite runner Sibusiso Madikizela will never forget . That was the day that his running career was nearly ended by a knife-wielding attacker … but he has come back stronger and more fired up to run than ever , while also determined to help other athletes where he can . – BY SEAN FALCONER

One minute , Sibusiso Madikizela was

running along Baden Powell Drive , the usually busy stretch of coastal road between Khayalitsha township and False Bay . The next minute , his Saturday 7am training run was brought to a frightening halt as the man just ahead who had stopped to tie his shoelace , suddenly jumped up and grabbed the 30-year-old runner by the neck , while pointing a knife at his face .
The first mugger was then joined by two more men , who crossed from the other side of the road , shouting at Sibusiso to give them his running gear , but he decided he wasn ’ t going to just become another victim of crime . “ I didn ’ t give in , I fought back , and that ’ s when they stabbed me twice , in my head and near my knee . They then took my shoes , cap and watch , and they tried to also take my
T-shirt , but luckily a car approached and they ran away ,” he says .
His ordeal was far from over , however . No car would stop to help the wounded runner , now bleeding profusely from his head wound , so he wrapped his shirt around his head and tried to walk home . “ Eventually I couldn ’ t see anything anymore because of all the blood , and I had lost so much that I passed out on the road . When I woke up the next day , I was in the Khayalitsha Hospital , and was told that a woman had brought me in . I never found out who she was , because she just dropped me off at the emergency ward due to the Corona safety restrictions .”
Road to Recovery
Sibusiso spent two days in hospital , during which the doctors stitched up his two stab wounds , and he says all he could think about was whether his running career was over . It turned out he had actually been incredibly lucky . “ The knife cut into my ITB muscle just above the knee , but narrowly missed my knee ligaments . I was very worried until they took off the bandages after 15 days and the stitches came out , but I healed quickly after that .”
“ I had a bit of pain afterwards , including some headaches from the head wound , but I started feeling myself again by the end of June . Now I look back and realise how lucky I was that my wounds were not too deep , or more serious . You can still see the mark on my head , but it ’ s not too bad ,” he adds .
Looking back on the attack , Sibusiso says he learnt a hard lesson that day . “ You need to be careful out on the roads , and you have to watch the people you pass until you are well past them . It happens so quickly … and I now understand why some runners change direction when they see people approaching . This happened to me on a busy road , with cars regularly passing by , so it could happen anywhere . But I am still going to run !”
Athletic Talent
Born in KwaZulu-Natal , Sibusiso began running in 2004 , when he was in Grade 8 , and he went on to represent the province from 2008 to 2010 in both track and cross country , with the steeple chase as his specialist event . He then moved to Johannesburg to pursue his running career , and earned provincial
Images : George Gundry , Roger Sedres / ImageSA & courtesy Sibusiso Madikizela & Under Armour
22 ISSUE 133 SEPTEMBER 2020 / www . modernathlete . co . za