Spurred on by a video of legendary Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt, Nelson Mandela University sprinter Luxolo Adams has shown this season what he can do on the track.
Born in Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape, the 21-year-old Bestmed Madibaz star was focused on soccer before a video of Bolt competing in the 2008 Olympics saw him switch his allegiance to athletics.
He confirmed his talent this year by winning the 200m title at the national senior championships and then beating Anaso Jobodwana in the Athletix Grand Prix meeting in Paarl last month.
Jobodwana, the world championships bronze medallist in 2015, is still one of the country’s top sprinters, but he watched Adams blaze to victory in a personal best of 20.01 seconds.
“I was more interested in soccer when I was growing up and I was quite a good goalkeeper at first,” said Adams.
“But then I saw a video of Bolt setting world records in the 100m and 200m and that inspired me to switch to the track.
“I just knew if I focused on athletics I may be able to get somewhere.”
Adams received another confidence boost when he beat American Justin Gatlin for third place in the 150m at the Athletix Grand Prix in Pretoria.
“My goals for this year were to prove I can compete with the best in the world, which I have done, and to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“Unfortunately I was not considered for the South African team.”