Masuge shifts focus to books

Ready: Masuge competes in the Men’s 400m - T13 Round 1 - Heat 2 PIC: NAOMI BAKER/GETTY IMAGES
Ready: Masuge competes in the Men’s 400m - T13 Round 1 - Heat 2 PIC: NAOMI BAKER/GETTY IMAGES

Edwin ‘Tiger’ Masuge is now shifting his focus to school after competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. He finished in position seven yesterday in the men’s 400m T13 clocking 50.54.

It was an African affair, with the gold medal going to Algeria, Morocco snatching the silver while Namibia walked away with the bronze. In the semifinal, Masuge reached the finish line in 50.13 registering his personal best (PB). National team coach, Katlego Maotwe said Masuge gave his best performance. “Most people did not expect him to make it to the final looking at the strong athletes he faced. He had to run a PB of 50.13 to make it to the final. Then he rested for 12 hours and ran 50.54.

He was the youngest in the line-up by far and he sent a clear message. He motivated his fellow teammates who did not make it to the Paralympics that it is possible,” he said. Maotwe said he was impressed by Masuge’s prowess on the track.

He said 'Tiger' will now put his spikes aside and focus on his schoolwork as he prepares to write his junior certificate examinations. Maotwe said the athletes will resume training in November as they prepare for the World Championships. Meanwhile, Bose Mokgwathi, who had initially made the Paralympic team, has fully recovered from injury and has started light training.

Maotwe said they really missed Mokgwathi in Tokyo.

He said if it was not because of injury the athlete was going to be a threat. The other athlete who was missing in Tokyo is Keatlaretse Mabote. “Mabote is still nursing an injury but his experience and leadership are very vital. We have a pool of promising athletes like Stanley Matutu and Tshedimoso Mogweng (T12 200m and 400m).

We also want to start venturing into other categories and not only focus on 400m,” he said. Meanwhile, the going was tough for Gloria Majaga as she failed to reach the final of the women’s 400m T13.

Majaga finished in the last position of semi final stopping, recording a time of 1:04:18. “I did not want to put her under pressure. The plan was for her to go out there and enjoy her race. She was in the strongest heat,” Maotwe said.

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