Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
SHANGE TARGETS SA RECORD IN SPAIN
Lebogang Shange is gearing up for another national record attempt on Saturday (photo credit: Reg Caldecott)
In-form race walker Lebogang Shange will be chasing his own SA 20km record this weekend when he lines up at the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in La Coruna, Spain.
Shange confirmed on Tuesday he had his sights set on improving his national mark of 1:21:50, which he clocked in Lugano, Switzerland, in March.
“I am still realistic about my abilities. Although I won’t win on Saturday, the other athletes will certainly know that they have raced against me,” said the 24-year-old High Performance Centre athlete.
“I will be racing with an attitude of fearlessness.”
Shange, who also smashed the SA 3 000m record (11:20.39) on the track and became the first South African to win a Race Walking Challenge event over the 20km distance in Dudince, Slovakia earlier this year, felt he was ready to hit top form again, with his self confidence growing this season.
“Last year I still battled to believe in my own abilities,” he admitted.
“When I entered a race I would study the start list, check the times of my rivals and invariably come to the conclusion that most of the athletes were better than me, but that is not so anymore.
“My coach, Chris Britz, helped me to change that perception. That is why I am now able to go for records.
“My SA 20km record performance in Switzerland could well have been the turning point in my athletics career. I now know that I am capable of competing against the best.”
Provided he could to stick to his race plan, Shange was confident of finishing among the top 10 and becoming the first South African to go under 1:21:00.
“My aim is a time of one hour, 20 minutes. If I can do that it will mean that I will be on track to walk a time of one hour, 19 minutes at the World Championships in Beijing (in August),” he said.
“This will mean that I will also be in with a chance to medal at the World Championships. It will all depend on who has the strongest mindset.”