Ruswahl Samaai had a stellar year in athletics and was named UJ Sportsman of the year for the second year in a row. Now he is setting his sights on 2018.
We shared the inspiring story of everything that Rushwahl Samaai had to overcome to become the sportsman he is today. He faced serious injury to his knee in 2010 which led him to change his preferred sport to Long Jump.
2017 has been a successful year and with it, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) named him Sportsman of the year. He credits his success to starting later in the season.
“We began our season much later than we normally do and I only competed in my first meeting in April,” he said.
“In the build-up to that, I focused a lot on strengthening and conditioning to try to make sure I didn’t have any problems with injuries.
“Being injury-free had the effect of propelling me into a position where I knew it would be a good year.”
The lengthy build-up to the season put Samaai in a positive frame of mind for the worlds and he said he was confident of getting onto the podium. Samaai has set his sights on 2018 and has already started training. He has realised that things will be quite different in 2018 as the season is jam-packed with key international meetings.
The season will start with the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England, in March, followed by Australia’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.
“This means I will have to start competing much earlier next year and it’s going to be hectic,”
“I am looking forward to it, but also know it will be a tough programme with all the competitions which are on.”
His big goal for 2018 is to achieve at least a silver at the Commonwealth Games.
“I got a bronze medal in the 2014 Games and I definitely want to better that to a silver or gold medal.”
Samaai’s drive and ambition to become a world-renowned athlete is evident in the way he performs on the track as well as in every word he speaks. He holds himself to a high standard and has the passion required to become a big name in the athletics world.
“I just want to put in the work now and place myself in a position where I can explode in the big meetings.”
He added that he was delighted to receive the Sportsman of the Year award again.
“Most definitely it is one of the goals for me during the year and it’s an honour to receive it against the world-class sportsmen at UJ.
“I must compliment them on their achievements, but it’s great for me to get this recognition once again.”