Cape Town - Working as a dentist, Ahmed Zaid Mahomed, 58, never dreamed that he would one day get the opportunity to represent South Africa in a duathlon (running and cycling).
Mahomed noticed that there weren’t many opportunities for young people in communities of colour.
“As a new sport, duathlons and triathlons are very new in our community. Few people have ventured into it and there are no support groups for youngsters who want to do it. You won’t find many clubs in communities, such as Athlone or Mitchells Plain.
“I decided, with some friends, to start doing it. I joined Atlantic Triathlon Club and I started training with some friends,” he said.
Despite being active and training regularly, Mahomed picked up the on sport only eight months ago. In his first competitive event, he finished third and qualified to represent Western Province in the South African Championships.
In his second, at the SA Champs this past weekend, he finished second in his category (aged 55-59) to get the opportunity to represent South Africa.
Mahomed said his own performances surprised him due to his lack of experience.
“I was very excited, and did not quite know what to expect. Personally, I was very surprised when I came second. For me, it felt like a culmination of my years of being an athlete coming together. I was very emotional as I felt I reached the pinnacle of sport, to be representing South Africa, especially at my age,” he said.
Despite his achievement, he remains adamant that he wants to give an opportunity to youngsters looking to get into the sport. He wants to encourage and inspire others to get into sports, and show that age is not an issue and anything is possible.