senior-men

The men’s Tomtom Tembisa Street Mile elite field is filled with talented athletes, guys that are hungry for success. According to legend, experts said for years that the human body was simply not capable of a 4minute mile. It was not just dangerous it was impossible. On May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister broke the 4minute barrier, running the distance in 3:59.4. Then 60years later Johan Cronje, also in the line-up. covered the distance in 3:50.70. It is not impossible, who will be the first athlete to cross the TomTom Tembisa Street Mile in sub 4minutes. This Sunday whilst the streetmile brings a party to the township, a battle will commense to chase down that 4min mark. Lets have a look at these warriors that will line up:

This year’s field is so strong that to bet on this race might lose you your house. Where do I start? This is one of a few races on South African soil where you will witness Gladwin Mzazi, the 2015 World Student Games 21km champion, lining up in the same race with Jacob Rozani the Olympian as well as 2016 South African  800m champion. Kabelo Melamu the South African junior 10 000m champion as well as 2016 World Junior Championship 10 000m finalist lining up in the same race with George Kusche the South African 800m junior number one as well as 2016 IAAF World Junior Semi-finalist. What I am trying to bring to your attention is that the TomTom Tembisa Street Mile is where you bring your speedsters, middle distance and long distance athletes together to fight it out for victory on a speed endurance event. Who will it be?

 The speedsters seem to be the 800m specialist athletes, as almost all of them shining with 800m personal best times under the 1:50 barrier. Leading the junior boys will be George Kusche that has already prove to everyone that he is not only strong in the 800m with his personal best time of 1:47.45 set earlier this year, but he is also having blistering times of 3:53 and 4:09 over the 1500m and 1mile. The question is will that be enough to hold off fellow ECAC athlete Warno Potgieter the 2016 South African junior champion over the 1500m or can Kabelo Melamu’s 29:27 over the 10km that he set a few weeks ago in Cape Town carry him through to victory?

But will that be enough to place the juniors in the top 10 or will the senior athletes up their game at stopping them  from doing so. Everybody deserves to be in this line-up, the paper says it all. The hopes are high for a new course record. Johan Cronje’s current record of 4minutes 10secondes set in the 2nd addition of the TomtomTembisa Street Mile is definitely under threat this year.

With Tian Basson 1:48.61 and Thabang Matiwane 1:48.35 over 800m’s, both that are always ready to set a pace high, we definitely look forward for the sub 4min mile.  That pace will make runners like Hannes Naude, Henry Makane, Jabulane Ncamane, Henko Uys and Themba Madima enjoy themselves as the speedsters. All of them clocking 1:49’s and under over the 800m’s.

But will that be the kind of pace that will benefit the 1500m athletes like Clinton Swanepoel (3:42.47), Samuel Mathabatha (3:42.76), Siphiwe Tefo (3:45.44) orTheodore Nothling to once again prove to all that he has what it takes to handle any pressure after winning top class fields in the Eagles Club 1000m shootouts for two years in a row with his personal best times of 1:48 and 3:47:36. The Mile should be known as the race that brings all kinds of South African middle distance champions together. This year we have in the line-up the 2016 South African University and Club 1500m champions Thabang Matiwane (3:46.56) and Falavio Sehohle (3:39.41), Nkosinathi Sibiya (3:43.97) South African 1500m under23 champ, Rantso Mokopany (8:33.72) and Jeromy Andreas South African University cross country champion over the 4km’s. All these champions in one race.

But the cherry on top of it all is that we have two 800m Olympians Rynhard van Rensburg and Jacob Rozani alongside with Johan Cronje the 2013 IAAF World Championship bronze medallist also in the race. Johan Cronje on paper seem to have it all what it takes to win the race. But the question is, does the 3:50.70 miler still have it in his legs to hold off the field from victory for the second time? Also in the line-up, Jeromy Andreas, an athlete that has that kind of potential to destroy any South African line up in middle distance running. Tumisang Monnatlala, KMPG athlete mainly known as a great junior in his days that also has the potential to give any senior athlete a run for his money if it is his day.

But athletes that should not go unnoticed is the Potchefstroom athletes Jerry Motsau and Rantso Mokopane. Jerry already having a dream mile in his bag and with his Randburg Street Mile win he is already on a high? One of the favourites to be crowned as champion.  Rantso always finds himself at the right place at the right time, which equals as a best race tactic and in most cases it paid himself off with a victory.

Saving the best for last. Folavio Sehohle. Can Sehohle repeat doing what he did earlier in the year when he was crowned as the 2016 South African National 1500m Champion. Folavio also had fantastic street miles in his legs after losing the TomTom Tembisa Street Mile last year against Dumisani Hlaselo when Sehohle made a brave move and got chased down by Hlaselo. Can he this year add the TomTom Tembisa Street Mile to his 1500m National title? He proved to South Africa that he has what it takes to shine and not just in our country but it will soon be globally.

The quality is on paper and athletes have what it takes to run the dream mile, it is just a matter of who will be the first ever athlete to do so at the TomTom Tembisa Street Mile?

Written by Anthony Timoteus