Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 150 May 2022 | Page 62



Watch out for an upcoming edition of the magazine for a full interview with Viwe Jingqi .
The basis of this article was supplied by the Department of Sport ( TuksSport ) at the University of Pretoria . Tuks is home to some of the best sporting opportunities in the world , with more than 30 sport clubs . To find out more , go to www . up . ac . za / tukssport .

Into the Record Books

Viwe Jingqi has been celebrating a lot of wins and records in 2022
South Africa has a new sprinting sensation that everybody is talking about … and she is still just 17 years of age . Her name is Viwe Jingqi , and she is fast . Really fast . And that ’ s why she has already claimed three national records in just the last few months , some of which had stood for more than three decades ! – BY WILHELM DE SWARDT with SEAN FALCONER

There seems to be no stopping Viwe Jingqi right now . The 17-year-old sprint sensation from the Eastern Cape is currently based in Pretoria while she attends the TuksSport High School , and in February she represented her school at the Twizza Super School Athletics Meeting in Ruimsig . Her winning time of 11.47 seconds in the 100m final set a new South African Youth ( under-18 ) Record , finally improving on the 11.56 run more than 38 years ago by Mari-Lise Furstenburg in November 1983 .

Viwe ’ s next big races came at the Gauteng North Champs in Pretoria on 11 March , where she won the women ’ s under-18 200m title in 23.36 , which at the time gave her the second-fastest time ever by a South African youth athlete . Her time was just 0.06 seconds outside Evette de Klerk ’ s South African Youth Record of 23.30 , clocked way back in April 1982 , and if not for a headwind of 0.1 metres per second , she may just have beaten that record .
Speaking after her 200m performance , Viwe said , “ I am very proud of myself because due to running into a headwind , I did not expect to be so fast today .” She added that her top-end speed is not yet what it should be : “ I need to work on my finish . I had a good start , ran a nice bend , and the back straight , but my last 20 metres were very bad . If I can improve on that , I know I will be faster . I might even get the record .”
Getting it Just Right
In the days that followed that performance , Viwe clearly put in the necessary training with her coach , Paul Gorries , because when the South African Junior and Youth Athletics Championships started in Potchefstroom on 31 March , she was ready to step it up again . On the Thursday she competed in the 100m event , running 11.40 in the first-round heat to better her own Youth Record , then clocking an even faster 11.36 in the semi-final round .
Having watched her first two runs on the day , wellknown athletics statistician , Danie Cornelius , was prompted to predicted after the semi-final that Viwe could dip under 11.30 in the final , and he proved to be correct . Viwe saved her best effort for the final that evening , posting a scintillating 11.22 to not only lower the SA Youth Record for the third time in less than seven hours , but also surpassing Marcel Winkler ’ s SA Junior ( Under-20 ) Record of 11.25 , which had stood since 1989 .
“ Viwe ’ s race was phenomenal , especially since the temperature was dropping , and what she has achieved today is remarkable from a South African perspective ,” said Danie after that final . “ If Paul keeps on coaching her , there is a real chance that she can dip under 11 seconds as an under-20 athlete , but don ’ t forget that she is only 17 . I also think there is a
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Focused on rewriting the record books