Determined Wait sets her hopes on 200m
PE athlete believes in trying hard – and trying again
Port Elizabeth track sensation Saskia Wait will be hoping for a solid performance when she runs the 200m final at the Twizza Athletics South Africa U18 and U20 track and field championships in Paarl.
Running in her speciality sprinting events, the grade 12 pupil at DF Malherbe High School did not get the desired results in the 100m sprint on Thursday, but will be hoping to rectify that when she takes to the starting line on Saturday in the 200m.
Wait 17, said racing in the U20 age-group was a different experience, but one she really enjoyed.
Speaking about the qualification process for this weekend’s event, Wait said she was tasked with competing at two Eastern Province Athleticssanctioned events.
Participating in the Eastern Province championships at the beginning of March, she claimed two golds in her two events, for the fifth consecutive year.
“Racing in a higher agegroup came with its own set of challenges, but I came here to run my races and get the best results that I could possibly achieve,” she added.
Looking ahead to the 200m final, Wait said she was just trying to focus on doing all the basics right and if everything came together, the result would look after itself.
“My goal was just to do my best. Racing in an older agegroup is quite hard, so I am not too bothered about the results, as long as I know I did my best in each race,” the provincial and national champion said.
Wait’s latest performance, comes off the back of a doublemedal-winning performance at the SA Schools Sports Championships which earned her a spot at the high schools event held last week at Nelson Mandela University, after competing at various school athletics competitions in the lead-up to the event.
In the last event prior to the championships, she competed at the Eastern Cape High Schools champs, where she also took double gold in the 100m and 200m events for a fifth consecutive year.
“Last week was the first time that I had won a national title. I was very happy to claim the win and racing at home made it even more special.
“A lot of hard work went into preparing for the High School Championships, but it came as a bit of a surprise.
“I did not expect it, but having my family, friends and supporters there to cheer me on only motivated me to work harder.”
Having first obtained provincial colours in grade seven, she has gone on to represent the province on a number of occasions.
“I think it is every athlete’s dream to compete internationally in the colours of their country, and it is no different for me. It would be a dream come true to race in the green and gold,” Wait said.
She was first introduced to the sport while attending Lorraine Primary, regularly participating in the school’s interhouse athletics competitions.
The sprinter said her parents were massive influencers in her life, as they both did athletics. Also a major influence is her coach, Andrew Kock.
“My parents have been such a big influence on me, not only on the track, but also in life. They are always there for me, whether it be sporting or school events, attending church services and just being there when I need them. I cannot thank them enough for everything that I have achieved so far,” she added.
She has participated in various sports, including cycling, for which she got EP colours.
In addition, she has played netball and has done gymnastics at school, but has since put these on hold to focus on her athletics career.
Wait hopes to take her athletics career further than just the school level, but emphasised the importance of having a tertiary education.
She plans to follow a career in chartered accountancy, but admits she also has hopes of one day competing at the Olympic Games.
“It would be massive for me if I could get into the SA Olympic squad for the 2020 Tokyo Games, but I know that will take a lot of hard work.
“I will continue to work hard, and if the time is right, it will happen, and if not, I will just work harder and try again,” she said...