tokyo2020

Meet Alyssa Conley- From Olympic Sprinter to Springbok Rugby hopeful!

Alyssa Conley was crowned the National Sprint Champion in South Africa

Alyssa Conley was crowned the National Sprint Champion in South Africa

South African sprinter, Alyssa Conley has made a bold career move in recent weeks! The 200 metre runner, who represented her country at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, has decided to put her track career on hold, and pursue a career in Rugby 7s! She hopes to learn the game from scratch and use her electric pace to become a top Rugby winger.

We spoke to her on the Rugby Podcast about the decision she has made and how she feels about her new day job. Will she be good enough to break into the Springbok Womens’ Sevens side? Can she compete at the Tokyo Olympic games in 2020? Tune in below and listen to our chat with Alyssa Conley:

Will Alyssa Conley go on to represent South Africa in Rugby?

"I just sat there and prayed, Lord is this the end of my career?"

Reporter Tom Ellis (L) speaking with Kyron McMaster during the Commonwealth Games in Australia

Reporter Tom Ellis (L) speaking with Kyron McMaster during the Commonwealth Games in Australia

On this week’s Planet Sport we featured a double-header of serious Athletic talent, USA’s World and Olympic Triple Jump Champion, Christian Taylor, spoke to us about where his identity lies, plus Kyron McMaster speaks about winning the British Virgin Island’s first Commonwealth Games medal!

Listen to the Planet Sport interview below:

"Deep down I'm a fighter and I'm not going to give up"- Wenda Nel

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Olympic Hurdler Wenda Nel spoke to Planet Sport's Norman Brierley about what has been a tough season for the South African, but also how despite all of this, she continues to fight, to be an example to others and to 'live out the gift that she has been given'.

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

"I was told that I would never walk again"- Jarryd Wallace

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In interview with USA's Paralympic sprinter, Jarryd Wallace. . .

Speaking to Planet Sport on:

The ultimate career ambition. . . "A Paralympic medal would be nice, I've been fortunate enough to win a gold in every level of competition besides the Paralympics, so I've got eyes on Tokyo 2020. But It's not forever and when the Lord says I'm done, I'm done and I'll go through the next door that he opens." 

The message he's trying to display through his athletics. . . "I think the biggest thing as an athlete and a believer is consistency, how we respond to the outcome of a race or how we respond in victory. Also having the opportunities to build and cultivate relationships with fans and room with athletes, it's a great basis to share my faith."

How much his faith impacts his athletic performance . . ."It's a huge part of it, the reality of it is that seven years ago I was told that I would never walk again and had my leg amputated. I had the dream not just to walk, but to run at the highest level and so every day that I get to run is a gift and a blessing. That's what keeps me motivated."

What difference his faith makes to his life outlook. . . "It makes both winning and losing just easier and there is no pressure. Obviously it's fun to win races and it's fun to run fast but at the end of the day I'm not defined by one race or one time. It gives me freedom to enjoy the sport and enjoy the competition, some days it comes together and when it doesn't, that's just part of it."

 

 

Getting through the ups and downs. . ."My highs aren't too high and my lows aren't too low. I just maintain purpose, focus and I think my plateau is higher than most which is exciting."

The pattern of Christian athletes in USA Track & Field. . ."It's been really cool to watch my generation stepping out and being bold in their faith. You look at the world and society that we live in and it's based on performance or who can get what. It's a lot about take and not a lot about give but if you look at the gospel, it's our job to love and serve others. The attitude and the basis of faith for us as athletes is a huge part of us finding joy, regardless of the outcome."

Kombo Bere: "The bigger goal is to go to the Olympics and one day win the world champ jerseys"

Kombo Bere- Zimbabwean national athlete

Kombo Bere- Zimbabwean national athlete

Mountain Biking sensation, Kombo Bere took time out of his busy trail schedule to talk to us at Planet Sport about his career, his motivation to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and also how he sees riding as a platform to showcase his God-given talent.

As the Zimbabwean national champ, Kombo is now based in South Africa where he races for Team Pyga Euro Steel. 

Listen to the full Planet Sport interview below:

Ristananna Tracey: "Without God we can do nothing"

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Read our track & faith interview with Jamaican Hurdler, Ristananna Tracey. After a bronze medal at the World Champs, we caught up with her at the Birmingham Diamond League meet:

You are part of a really talented generation of Jamaican track athletes, how do you keep producing high quality performers?

"I think our facilities can be better so we work with whatever we have, we work extremely hard and we train extremely hard. I think that is what leads to our success."

You actually started out with the high jump, how did you then find the hurdles?

"I was doing high jump and my high school coach came to me and he said 'oh we have this tall girl and she is just wasting her talent over here' because I wasn't doing that well. He asked me, why not try the 800 metres? So from there I started training for the 880 metres and I started competing. Each time I competed I realised that my times were going down and they kept on improving. At that time I decided to try the 400 metre hurdles and did well at the event, from there people saw that I had potential and I just continued to do it."

What are the keys to becoming a world-class hurdler?

"Most definitely, I think the 400m hurdles is one of the hardest track events, you need to have endurance and I solely depend on it in most of my races. I'm not as fast as the other girls, their flat 400 races are faster than mine and so I think strength, endurance and technically is a big part of it."

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Off the track your faith in Jesus is important to you, does it impact your athletics?

"Most definitely, I mean without God we can do nothing. I believe that with him everything is possible. All the glory goes to him."

And what difference does knowing God make to your life?

"I put all my believe in him, I put all my trust in him so when I am going out to race, my mum always told me not to be afraid to go down on my knees and pray. I do exactly that before my races, ensuring that I pray before I go out to race and when I pray I realise that I am achieving whatever I am asking for. That then makes me believe in Him more."

How much does your faith help you in difficult times?

"Injuries do come and sometimes you feel like giving up but I always have people around me, telling me that better days are coming. I pray about it and believe."