The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are a few months away and one athlete who is determined to represent South Africa is long jumper, Lynique Beneke.
Beneke is no stranger to the Olympics as she made her debut at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Although, she wasn’t satisfied with her performance at the Rio Olympics, the experience gained there was a learning opportunity for the next event.
The long jumper took time from her preparations for the qualifiers to talk about her journey to gsport Student Vacation Reporter, Koketso Kgogome.
What is your plan regarding your preparation to qualify for the Olympics?
My team and I, including my wonderful coach, Emmarie Prinsloo, are working very hard to improve every little aspect to improve my distances. We’ve been working for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the last three years now and perfecting every part of my Life (meaning: sleeping, eating, jumping, running, going to gym, mentally) there are many aspects that need attention and that can be improved, so that I can achieve my jumping goals.
What are you feeding your body to prepare? Is it different to what you have been doing before?
I did adjust my diet a bit. I felt that I can improve on this aspect so much, so I decided to start following a Keto diet. With the help of a wonderful company Called Keto Nutrition and the help of Justin Strout (keto nutritionist) we worked out a meal plan for me that will suite my athletic schedule and to give my body enough fuel.
How has your diet been improving your performance as an athlete?
I feel as hard as you work on the track you need to work even harder off the track and what you feed your body with will give you the results or not at all. My Keto diet helped me a lot with my overall energy, there is so much sugar and carbs in so many products that we eat and drink and just cutting on this has had a huge effect on my energy levels during the day. I’ve been so healthy, and my power has gone up because I still give my body natural fats to feed from and to build upon!
What does your training regime consist of? Is it mostly strength, cardio, skills? Is it a combination of all three?
My training regime consists of a lot of running and speed work, and just as much strength but sport specific strength. Then, the technical aspect of jumping is the most important, so we focus a lot on technique! I’m trying to improve on my distances and speed and strength, I am nowhere near perfect and always trying to improve the get my distances. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my athletics and I think this helps me a lot to always wanting to be better.
What’s your strategy going into the Olympics/Qualifiers?
I have set goals. I have set small achievements for myself in the process towards my goals. So, I focus on each achievement that I need to achieve for me to reach my goals(qualifiers) and I know If I do this, I will get there. I like a challenge, so therefore I try achievements and my small victories a day or in a week, this helps me focus on the process and not the big scary goal or distance.
Who do you draw inspiration from?
I have so many, even to name them all will take too long. This list is so long because I draw inspiration from anyone who has good energy, who loves life and anyone who does anything whole heartedly. I surround myself with people like this because this makes me a better version of myself. It’s not necessarily another sports person it’s more a way of living.
What would it mean to you to represent South Africa at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
It would mean the world to me. My first Olympic experience in Rio was scary and a learning curve, I would do so many things differently and to have the opportunity to do things differently would give me an opportunity to go to the finals.
What are your plans for the future other than the Olympics?
I’m studying to become a teacher, this way I can give back to this sport I love so much. Lastly, I want to be a mom and raise future Olympic stars!
Photo 1 Caption: South African long jumper, Lynique Beneke, is aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July, Photo: @LyniqueTHEjumpe (Twitter)
With editing by gsport