Maloka: in pursuit of greatness

Lebogang Maloka1A quick search on Google reveals that due to the overuse of smartphones, humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. In other words, a fish in your tank at home can hold a thought for longer than you can.

But luckily you do not need the attention span of a university professor to recall Lebogang Maloka’s achievements on the athletics track; only about 10 seconds are necessary.

And the former MHS sprinter is still going about his business in a supersonic way. But this time at the University of Johannesburg.

Here is a quick question and answer session with Maloka.

The first question is an obvious one. Are you getting faster and jumping further?
“During pre-season I was ranked ninth in the world in 150m with a time of 15,7 seconds and the long jump looked promising during training, when I jumped a distance of seven metres from a full run-up and 7,10m from a short approach run-up. Unfortunately I got a hamstring injury before the season started.”

How often do you train?
“I train five to six times per week; depending on what the training programme requires.”

At school you were equally at home at the start of the 100m or at the top of your long jump mark. What is your current favourite event?
“At this stage I do not have a favourite event due to the injury. It means that I have to start from scratch and then take things further from there. I felt like giving up but I need to finish what I started.”

What is necessary to achieve your goals?
“For me to achieve goals is to give 100%, to make the commitment, having the self-discipline, the right attitude and dedication. But the most important is probably perseverance, since it was impossible to succeed at all my goals. It was up to me to accept the fact that failure is sometimes inevitable and that I should keep persisting in times of difficulty. My personal goal is to be a better Lebogang than yesterday.”

Who is your biggest competitor?
“Whoever is on the track with me - no matter whether he is stronger or weaker than me. However, in general I am my own biggest competition. I am there to better myself, not just to run away from my rivals, but to push each other and to strive for the same goal, even though it cannot be shared.”

And finally. Do you miss Middies?
“Yohhhh! I really miss Middies! I enjoyed each and every day at MHS and the hostel! All my teachers used to remind me to do my work and Mr Stronkie (principal) used to say: ‘Lebo, jy moet leer, hoor jy?’. It was actually my daily reminder. Here at university, no one reminds you to study. Middies taught me a lot, not just on the rugby field or on the track, but in everything. That is why I am who I am today. And that is because of Middies.”