Track Star Viwe Jingqi Aspires to Build on Recent Achievements

by | Apr 20, 2022

World’s fastest women’s U18 sprinter, Viwe Jingqi, is determined to build on her recent achievements as she aspires to build her credibility on the global stage.

In March, the TuksSport High School learner broke the South African U18 100m record three times at the South African Junior and Youth Athletics Championships.

The 17-year-old ran 11.40 during the heats, 11.36 in the semi-final and kept her best for last in the final when she clocked 11.24.

Her time was not only an U18 record, but also a new SA U20 mark, eclipsing Marcel Winkler’s 11.25, set in 1989.

Jingqi says she could not believe what she managed to achieve and is inspired to continue breaking new ground.

Drawing inspiration from double Olympic champion, Caster Semenya, the matriculant is determined to follow in the footsteps of her heroine as she climbs the athletics ranks.

Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Jinqgi chats about balancing her new-found fame and education and reveals how her family is supporting her journey.

 

Viwe, it’s great to get to chat to you! You have been the talk of the town over the past few weeks and dubbed SA’s new sprint sensation. How does it make you feel hearing this?

I couldn’t believe it! I was very excited and happy at the same time, but my mind was not functioning well because I couldn’t believe what I managed to achieve.

 

You crossed the finish line to break the U18 100m record three times in less than seven hours at the South African Junior and Youth Athletics Championships – please take us through that moment.

I knew that if I could give it my all I could go below my previous record, but I was also like: “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, Viwe, you’ve done very well in past few hours for now just win.”

 

Let’s chat more about your athletics journey – where did it all begin for you?

I started running back in 2015 at the age of 10 year. We would have inter-house [athletics] at school that’s when my teacher/coach (Mr Mcotheli) saw my talent and told me to take it seriously because I’ll be a star one day.

 

When you started out on the track, who were some of the women athletes that motivated you and why?

Caster Semenya was the only one because of how much she loves athletics and how she tackles every single challenge she faces. Also, she has a wonderful personality!

 

We are seeing a lot of young athletes on the rise in South Africa. Who are some female athletes that you believe are the future for the country?

Precious Molepo [400m track and field athlete].

 

Have you been receiving advice from fellow athletes as you take this next step in your career? If yes, what advice have they shared with you?

Yes, a lot! One of them is to never forget the reason why I started running and the challenges I’ll face in future must not stop me from continue my journey.

 

How is your family supporting you and your rising career?

They call me every now and then to check up on how I’m doing. When I’m running on tv or streaming live on YouTube they make sure to watch me. They always remind me about how great I’m doing and how proud they are of me.

 

What are you looking forward to this year in terms of competitions and goals that you have set?

Going to the World Juniors event and making it to the 100m finals is the only thing I’m currently focusing on.

 

Apart from athletics, what are you studying and how are you managing your education and rising sports career?

I’m in Grade 12 this year and I take one of the hardest subjects but when it comes to discipline, I’m very disciplined. I know study time and training time, so when it’s time for my books I focus on them, and when it’s time for training I focus on that.

 

Lastly, what is your greatest ambition?

I just want to do great in athletics and be one of the fastest female sprinters to ever live.

 

Photo 1 Caption: World’s fastest women’s U18 sprinter, Viwe Jingqi, is determined to build on her recent achievements as she aspires to build her credibility on the global stage. Photo: Supplied / TuksSport

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