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Athlete Profile – Matodzi Ndou (Curro Hazeldean)

By Hannes Nienaber , in Athletics | Featured Athletics | News Featured | Main , at 2024-02-19 Tags: , ,

MATODZI NDOU (left, Curro Hazeldean) in action in the 400m hurdles during the Curro Podium Grand Finale. His teammate Lesibe Dikgale (50.69) won this item in a new meeting record time. PHOTO: Marius Nortjé

It is scary to think that Curro Hazeldean’s prodigious hurdler Matodzi Ndou is still finding his form.

Even though he had only recently returned to the track, he was responsible for the standout performance of the second annual Curro Podium Grand Finale at the Pilditch Stadium in Pretoria on Saturday.

Ndou not only broke the prestigious meeting’s 110m hurdles for boys u17 record with his impressive time of 13.21, but that mark was also a South African Youth record.

“I only started training last week. I don’t feel that my fitness level is where it should be, so I wasn’t expecting to break the record,” said Ndou.

The previous record holder for the meeting, as well as the SA Youth record holder, was Naheem Jack (Paarl Boys’ High). Jack’s meeting record stood at 13.37 seconds, while his national record, which he set when he won the SA Youth Championship title last year, was 13.25 seconds.

Earlier this year, Jack posted a time of 13.72 seconds, which was the world’s best thus far for the age group until Ndou improved on that performance by over half-a-second. If Ndou can build on his performance during the Curro Podium Grand Finale, he will be a serious contender for a medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Lima, Peru, later this year.

“I started running in grade 1, but I didn’t take the sport seriously until grade four, when I realised that I’m good at it and started training,” he said.

Ndou is coached by Thabo Matebedi at Curro Hazeldean. Coach T, as he is affectionately known, is one of the top sprint coaches in the country.

While he won the 110m hurdles, Ndou was unable to defend his 400m hurdles title, and had to settle for a bronze medal, with a time of 52.03 seconds. In 2023, he established the meeting record of 51.01, but his Curro Hazeldean teammate Lesibe Dikgale lowered that mark to 50.59 on the weekend.

“My goal for this year is to dip under 50 seconds in the longer hurdles, or even 49 seconds, if everything goes to plan,” Ndou revealed.

Hannes Nienaber
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.