Athlete excels at champs

Sidiki wins bronze in the 80m dash

FAST FEET: Veronique Sidiki won bronze in the 80m sprint event at the South African Schools Athletics National Primary Schools in Potchefstroom recently Picture: DESMOND COETZEE

DESPITE a knee injury and a sprained ankle, Veronique Sidiki pulled out all the stops to emerge the third best in her event at the South African Schools Athletics National Primary Schools (SASANPS) championships staged in Potchefstroom last weekend.

The 11-year-old Breidbach Primary Grade 6 pupil represented the Eastern Cape Provincial side in the 80m race and scooped a bronze medal.

Sidiki said she could have done better were it not for injuries that hampered her during the heats en route to the final. “I have not been at my best and have not been able to run to the best of my ability in the final due to a swollen knee and foot injury sustained in the heats prior to the final,” Sidiki said.

She added frustration, doubt and uncertainty went through her mind as the final race was about to start.

“I received first aid from our team officials and was about to withdraw myself from the race after I was devastated, but changed my mind at the 11th hour,” Sidiki said.

“I ran the race and ended third which I never imagined …so I am extremely proud on my performance and with the achievement,” she said.

Sidiki praised coach and educator Werner Fuller and commended him for his support and cooperation for the past two years, as well as her mother for encouraging her all the way.

“I dedicate the accolade to my mother and coach, Mr Fuller, for the important role he played in my life – they are special to me,” Sidiki said.

She also added that her coach bought her new running spikes to assist her in her quest to succeed in the sport, adding that he was someone who pushed her to her limits.

Sidiki said she wanted to become a medical doctor and her dream was to represent her country at the Olympic Games one day.

Fuller described Sidiki as a hard worker, and someone who believed in her abilities.

“She is very outspoken, easily interacts with other athletes on the sports grounds and we have really been working very hard in preparation for her event,” Fuller said.

“In life I’ve learnt to keep my head up high irrespective of my circumstances and this is exactly what Veronique is doing and I wish her all the best with her future endeavours,” he said.

Fuller would also like to thank Amathole Valley Pharmacy and various other individuals for their donations and support of Sidiki.

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