Track star Viwe Jingqi on making history in SA and where she's headed next

Most recently, Viwe Jingqi broke the South African Under-18 100m record thrice at the National Junior Athletics Championships in Potchefstroom.

 TuksSport High School learner Viwe Jingqi. Picture: Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – Young athlete Viwe Jingqi is making history.

Most recently, Jingqi broke the South African Under-18 100m record thrice at the National Junior Athletics Championships in Potchefstroom.

The 17-year-old from Engcobo in the Eastern Cape told Eyewitness News that she got her start in 2015 in what began as some fun at school.

ECLIPSING THE RECORD SET IN 1989

Her time of 11.22 seconds to clinch gold in the final was not only an Under-18 record but also a new SA Under-20 mark, eclipsing Marcel Winkler’s 11.25, set in 1989.

Jingqi ran 11.40 in the heats at the NWU McArthur Athletics Stadium, 11.36 in the semi-finals, and then 11.22 in the final.

“I have no words to describe my recent achievement. I’m very happy, excited, and very proud of myself at the same time. I never thought I would achieve this in such a short time. This is the highlight of my career, I broke three records in one day. I watch the videos and just smile.”

A CHANCE TO SMASH MORE RECORDS

The TuksSport High School powerhouse is eyeing the upcoming senior championships at the Green Point Athletics Stadium in Cape Town that takes place from 21-23 April – where she could come up against national record-holder Carina Horn, whose SA mark is 10.98.

“At the upcoming nationals, I just want to make it to the finals with the seniors or maybe get a position. I’ve never ran such a serious competition with seniors, so I’m very excited about it, and I’m just planning on making the final,” said Jingqi.

Jingqi also set the new South African youth record over 200 metres when she won in 23.03s on Saturday, 2 April - exactly 40 years after the record was broken by Evette de Klerk who ran 23.30s to set a South African youth record (under-18) in the 200 metres on 2 April 1982.

CRACKING SA'S TOP FIVE

The athlete’s time ranks her as one of South Africa’s five fastest female sprinters since 2012.

Justine Palframan (22.83s) and Alyssa Conley (22.84s) are the only South African senior female sprinters who have run faster times in the 200 metres.

In the 100 metres, Carina Horn (10.98s) and Tebogo Mamathu (11.04s) are the only two local 100-metre sprinters who have been faster than Jingqi since 2012.

The youngster says she trains 6 times a week working on technique, bettering herself and having a positive mindset and believing she can achieve her goals.

Jingqi is grateful for her strong support structure which has carried her throughout her blossoming track career.

“I have a very strong support structure which includes my parents, coaches and friends, I hope they continue to support me as I grow as an athlete. And to my late brother, I just want him to know that where ever he is I’m doing this for him”.