Youth Olympic gold medallist, Gezelle Magerman, is taking one step at a time as she works on her journey to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The 400m hurdler admits training has not been easy, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in the sport industry.
She has, however, been able to remain grounded and focused on her goals as her coach, Maritza Coetzee, has been her pillar of strength both on and off the track.
Magerman also reveals with more experience under her belt, she is more content and not putting herself under pressure to prove her worth.
Speaking to Babsie Kutwana, Magerman reveals her aspirations beyond qualifying for the Olympics and shares her hobbies outside of athletics.
Hi Gezelle, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We are currently more than a month away from the Olympic Games in Tokyo, how are your preparations towards qualification going for the event?
Thank you for having me. Training has been going well. It has definitely not been a walk in the park, but if it was easy then everybody would be doing it. Covid played a big role in preparing for this year’s qualifiers, but I am grateful that my coach is working really hard to get us where we need to be.
Preparations for the Olympics, phew honestly, we take it step by step. Yes, I have always wanted to qualify for the Olympics. As much as it is a dream, I still have to face reality and prepare. Preparation is going well. My coach believes in all of us and if she believes and God works through her, who am I not to believe?
Who have you leaned on as support to keep you focused and on track with your goals?
To be honest, I used to put so much pressure on myself to impress and to prove to others that I am good enough so much so that I lost sight of what the main goal is. Yes, I keep myself accountable for my performance but the person that has been lecturing me, giving me guidance, helping me not just physically but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually and also replaced the roles as a teacher, a life coach, a caregiver and a friend is my coach, Maritza Coetzee. She always says that there is a reason for our paths crossing and I am truly grateful.
Have you experienced any challenges on your journey towards qualifying?
I definitely experienced some challenges on and off the track, but as they say challenges can be overcome.
“I have been at ease for a period of time now and yes it has bothered me in the past but for quite some time I am just doing what I’m supposed to do and trusting the process.” – Youth Olympic gold medallist, Gezelle Magerman
You have an impressive track record behind your name, does this put you under any pressure to perform?
Lately, I see my track record as what I have done and it is behind me, but it does not define me. I have been at ease for a period of time now and yes it has bothered me in the past but for quite some time I am just doing what I’m supposed to do and trusting the process.
Do you have any pre-race rituals that you do to get ready for races?
No pre-race rituals really other than an everyday routine, but instead of training, running let’s say 6/7 runs, I only have one run or two depends on the program.
What are looking forward to most if you do qualify for the Games?
If it is God’s will then I am looking forward to traveling with the team and representing my country on the highest level.
Do you have any career aspirations beyond this year’s Olympics?
My aspiration in life is to be the best version of myself. The best person/athlete that I can be. I would like to qualify for World Championships and travel and explore my sporting abilities. Through athletics I get to go places and see places that I would not be able to if I did not do athletics.
What are your hobbies outside of athletics?
I love spending time with my family and friends.
Photo 1 Caption: Youth Olympic gold medallist, Gezelle Magerman, is taking one step at a time as she works on her journey to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. Photo: Supplied