Tebogo Mamatu has been an athlete her whole life. She says she was the “fastest female sprinter since primary school days”. As a child, Mamatu was happy, and “was always taught to focus on the positives in life”.
“When I was offered a bursary to study at my high school, I thought that if I could get a bursary because of my athletics, then I should focus and take my athletics seriously, because it can open up doors for me.”
She has achieved many things in life already, but for Mamatu, her biggest achievement to date is becoming the South African 100m champion in 2019.
It’s difficult for Mamatu to juggle both her athletics and study at university. Training with renowned athletes Thando Roto and Wenda Nel, in the Grigoria training group, helps her to focus. “They both have such a great work ethic!”
She is also grateful to her coach Hennie Kriel for guiding and helping her. “And of course I want to be one of the best in the world, and so that gets me out of bed in the mornings!” She knows the importance of education and says, “I just keep pushing through”.
When she is finished her degree, Mamatu says she does want to study further. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are coming up and for now she says: “I am putting all my energy into being the best athlete I can be.” Her immediate goal is to qualify for the World Championships in Doha.
“My goal for my athletics career is to be a consistent sub-11-second 100m athlete and be able to final and then medal at all major championships, such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.” — Fatima Moosa