What does not kill you surely makes you stronger and even faster in the case of Netsai Sabau. Hospitalized for close to three months, uncertainty was the order of the day for her family, friends and schoolmates alike. After missing the whole of the schools’ track and field season as well as the first nine weeks of her final high school year Netsai got back up, started training and registered as one of the competitors at World Wide Scholarships Academy(WWS). Used to competing for her house, her school (Eaglesvale School) and occasionally for the Harare province, a national team call up was last on Netsai’s list. They say victory favours the prepared and indeed it was so for Netsai as she took part in the Penn Relay Carnival in April 2011 and also got to cross out the last item on her list: a national team call-up. Glad to have finally made Team Zimbabwe Netsai kept a smile on her face as she told us her story.
Role Models: Usain Bolt and Sanya Richards
Hockey vs Track and Field: I like a challenge and Track & Field offered that. In hockey because it’s a team sport people tend to slacken a bit as you can easily count on your team mates but in Track & Field the onus is on you to perform and that is exactly what I needed. Track & Field is taking centre stage in Zimbabwe now and that was one of the factors that lead to me focusing more on atheletics.
Main events: 100m and 200m sprints, recently started training for the 400m sprint as well.
On handling the pressure and nerves associated with sprints: My energy is drawn from the fact that my brother is always encouraging me and that is all I need to block out the nerves and focus on the race.
Greatest challenge to date: I was hospitalized when everyone else was in school and athletics went on, it bothered me so much to the extent that when I got out of hospital I went that extra mile in training and I actually became faster than I was before.
Academics and Sport: Balancing the two was not much of a problem I just followed the school schedule and applied myself in all I did and that worked for me.
Highlight of your carrier thus far: Visiting Jamaica, meeting Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and talking to Usain Bolt was just awesome. “Lift up your knees”, was Bolt’s advice to me.
The future: I don’t like to brand myself and stick to one thing, probably later on in life but for now I’ll do my school, my modelling, my sprinting and I can’t really say what I’ll be only the creator can tell.
Advise to other upcoming atheletes: Confidence is the greatest factor, just believe in yourself go out ther and win a race. If you find yourself to be intimidated by your opponents make it a point to use that extra dose of adrenalin to run away from them not with them.
Best characteristic: I have loads of drive and I am confident, all I need in this field.
Who to watch out for: Tsitsi Mahachi from Chisipite Girls School, she is awesome and I’m sure she has a great future ahead of her.