Anuscha Nice has been playing second fiddle to the likes of Gena Lofstrand and Caster Semenya and, despite being one the most consistent 800m women’s stars of this era, she has not won many major titles. Could this year be any different? Well, she is one of the favourites to win tomorrow evening’s exciting and innovative TomTom 1000m Classic Shootout at the University of Johannesburg, so let’s see if she will test the waters or dive in the deep-end by giving the spectators a performance of her life to be crowned champion.

As a youth and junior athlete, Anuscha Nice was the name everyone lips. She was one of the most feared athletes who left everything on the track…no wonder why her running tactics comprise front running with a ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ attitude. The star, who boasts with very fast 2min03sec 800m and 2min44sec 1000m personal best times, has been spotted as one of the bright young talents in South African athletics and now, whilst completing her study at the University of Pretoria, she is starting to live up to what was spoken over her. Her times are getting faster, she is enjoying the sport and hopefully soon, very soon, she will get back to winning ways.

Nice’s name, alongside Lebogang Phalula, stands out above the rest of the women’s field assembled to entertain a packed UJ crowd tomorrow evening. The Classic Shootout, an initiative in cooperation with Helpmekaar High School, was started by EC Active Athletics Club and Backtrack Sports to give senior athletes the opportunity to compete in front of thousands of roaring students to lift the image of the sport. What better way to get back to her winning ways? It could be a really ‘nice’ time for Anuscha when she leads out youngsters Prudence Sekgodisa, Keletso Senosi and Lizerie Ferreira all hailing from Tuks. Her stiffest competition, though, will come from one of the most decorated middle/long distance athletes in South Africa…Lebogang Phalula. However, Phalula has not been focussing on shorter distances like the 1000m, thus making things easier for Nice to kick-start the year with a much-needed win.

For her sake, I hope she dives into the deep-end and surprise herself (and the spectators) with a performance of a lifetime to win the high-status TomTom 1000m Classic Shootout. Athletics, like all sporting codes, is a mental thing and one win could change the attitude and altitude of the athlete…will this be the nicest or best run of her life that give her the edge for the remainder of the season? I hope so, because she deserves it! But we don’t know the outcome yet…come witness Anuscha and the rest of the women’s field tomorrow at 17h36 at the picturesque University of Johannesburg stadium.