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#PeopleOfJozi: I was the fastest man in SA

Gauteng
Johannesburg - “I wish I could turn back the clock to a time when I was on top of the world. I used to be the fastest man in South Africa. I had everything going for me.

"I had just become the first South African to break the 100m 10-second barrier by running it in 9.98 seconds, and had my eye on competing at my first Olympic Games.

“A few months later my life fell apart. I missed a doping test and was subsequently banned from competing for two years.

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Simon Magakwe still dreams of competing in the Olympic arena.

"I lost all my motivation. Because I was so stressed, I turned to drinking. There was a point where I was drinking every single day so that I could numb the pain I was going through. I was a complete mess. 

"I also lost all the money I had earned from competing as an athlete. I had to sell most of my stuff just so that I could survive. 


"I regret that I didn't invest my money when I had the chance to. I didn't ever expect my life to turn out the way it has. On top of everything, I also lost my mom. The drinking became worse and I had no desire to return to the track. I was doing stupid things because I thought my life had ended.

“I recently turned to God to help me put the pieces of my life back together. It's really helped me. I have returned to the track now and I'm training hard. Hopefully one day I'll fulfil my dream of competing at the Olympics.”

Simon Magakwe - Johannesburg

Saturday Star

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