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‘SWAZI BOLT’, BONGIWE SHINE IN NATIONAL CHAMPS

MANZINI – The duo of Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) athletes Sibusiso ‘Swazi Bolt’ Matsenjwa and Bongiwe Mahlalela was unmatched in the Athletics Eswatini (AE) Senior National Championships.

The championships were held at Mavuso Sports Centre, which saw the duo outshine their competitors in the one-day competition. Matsenjwa clocked 10:57seconds in the men’s 100m, beating TZD’s Benele Dlamini and Ayanda Malaza, who came second and third respectively. Dlamini clocked 10:89 seconds while Malaza was on 10:94 seconds. Mahlalela clocked 12:22 seconds to win gold in the women’s 100m, while Precious Mlilo of Manzini Athletics Club won silver after clocking 13:02 seconds with bronze medalist Sibusisiwe Mabuza finishing on 13:08 seconds. “I am injured that is why I did not run my best times. I am currently recovering. It has been two weeks since I pulled a hamstring and I have to be cautious not to aggravate it,” Matsenjwa said.

He said he was happy to win the gold medal. “Shining at home is really good and I am building up my speed bit by bit. But today my focus was to at least win the championship and also use this competition to prepare for my upcoming European busy schedule,” he added. Mahlalela, on the other hand,  said the secret to winning was training, discipline and diet. “Self-motivation and support from AE and my family also helped me to do better in my races. My target is to beat my personal best time of 11:65 seconds. I have to train harder to beat it and it’s work in progress for me,” she said. Other athletes who shone on the day were Correctional Services’  Xolani Ndlela, who won the 5 000m on 14:59:83 minutes while in the female category Nokwethu Nhlabatsi, was the best after she clocked 18:51:35 minutes.