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Speedster Nene faces Gardiner in showdown in Morocco

By Thathe Msimango

South African 400m champion Zakithi Nene is gearing up for an intense battle at the Wanda Diamond League event in Rabat this weekend.

The reigning national champion will go head-to-head with Olympic champion Steven Gardiner and American sprint sensation Vernon Norwood in the Moroccan capital.

Nene, who represented South Africa in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, expressed his excitement about the upcoming competition, the only Diamond League event on the continent.

The clash with Gardiner is a highly anticipated rematch for Nene, who finds facing the world-class athlete both thrilling and enlightening. He views it as an opportunity to test his skills early in the season and aims to put on a show for his fans.

Nene remains focused and determined to achieve his goals for the year.

The 25-year-old sprinter faced some setbacks in his international races this season. In the recent continental meeting in Botswana, Nene finished sixth with a time of 45:47.

Reflecting on this performance, he admitted to rushing his return to the track after an injury and emphasised the importance of not putting excessive pressure on himself which could harm his entire track season.

In the same event, South Africa’s fastest man, Akani Simbine, will kick off his international season by competing in the 100m race.

At the start line will be Olympic gold medallist, Marcell Jacobs, reigning world champion Fred Kerley, African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala, and under-20 100m world record holder Letsile Tebogo.

Pictured above: Zakithi Nene

Image source: Supplied

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