Black excellence in sports

This past week in sports were drenched in melanin gold as Three amazing athletes broke records and elevated more success in their careers in the fields of cycling, tennis and athletics.

US tennis icon-in-the-making Serena Williams, as well as two growing sport Afrolutionists Isaac Makwala of Botswana and Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot rounded their week with new milestones in their careers.

Firstly Daniel, who hails from a country with a thriving bicycle culture, initially made history through being the first black African to participate in the Tour De France, along with his team mate Merhawi Kudis (who at 20, is the youngest participant). He broke a further record last Thursday by being the first black African to win the coveted Polka Dotted king of the mountains Jersey – at the Critérium du Dauphiné ; a jersey that hails ‘the cyclist to watch’ throughout the tour. With hopes of achieving even more with his team MTN Qhubeka, our continent celebrates the stride that this Eritrean national is making at the biggest cycling event in the world.

Breaking records this past week wasn’t isolated in the field of sports, as Motswana national Isaac Makwala broke a record at the Resisprint International meeting in the Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds – a weekend after  Daniel and Merhawi made history. Makwala, being the bearer of three national records at all three sprint distances, broke a further record on continental level – sprinting 44.01 seconds in 400m race. This not only makes him a continental record holder, but puts him on the 11th place on the world all-time list. If that isn’t enough – he broke a further national record just 90 minutes after his 400m run. Running a 200m race, Makwala seized of 19.96 seconds of time placing him third on the African all time list.

Speaking on all-timers, Serena Williams recently claimed another Serena Slam after beating Spanish competitor Garbine Muguruza and winning the Wimbledon for the sixth time in her career. This garnered her 21st grand slam title, and third title of this year.

Heading into the next US Open with 21 grand slam titles, She has the potential to be aligned with tennis players who have made tennis history. If she wins the US Open she’ll be matched to Steffi Graf’s grand slam single titles (andcould surpass it), as well pass Chris Evert’s records of most US Open Wins (they are currently tied on 6 each). No pressure Serena.

Not only do these accomplishments boost morale for what is considered a minority group in the diverse world of international sportsmanship – but it proves that with enough consistent hard work, and practice – anyone’s potential can surpass even their own wildest goals.