In-form United States-based Zimbabwean track and field star Ngonidzashe Makusha, lowered the national 100-metre record for the second time in less than two months after completing the distance in an impressive time of 9,89 seconds at the NCAA Championships at Des Moines in Iowa, the United States, on Saturday.
For the 23-year-old long jumper, who is fast establishing himself as a sprinter, a time of 9,89sec was a meet record and a collegiate record as well.
The previous local national 100m record which was set in June 1990 by Fabian Muyaba stood at 10,15sec before Makusha lowered it to 9,97sec on April 23 in North Carolina and the sky seems the limit for the young star.
Makusha went on to complete a double at the championships by winning the long jump event with an impressive leap of 8,40m which was the best jump at an NCAA meet in 18 years.
In fact Makusha’s profile has grown so big that on Sunday, the respected track and field website iaaf.com compared him to legendary American track and field stars like Jesse Owens, DeHart Hubbard and Carl Lewis.
“Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis, move over. You too, DeHart Hubbard. You guys just got some company,” read a statement on the IAAF website on Sunday.
“A day after winning his third NCAA long jump title with the fourth longest jump in the meet’s 91-year history, 8,40m, Ngonidzashe Makusha of Zimbabwe and Florida State University ran away from a strong 100m field to win in 9,89 seconds, a meet record and a collegiate record as well.”
The three men noted above are the only previous athletes ever to win a double victory in the NCAA 100m and long jump, Hubbard in 1925 (9,8/100m and 7,89m), Owens in 1935 (9,8/100m and 7,97m) and 1936 (10,2/100m (w) and 7,89m) and Lewis in 1981 (9,99 (w) and 8,25m).
All three also went on to win Olympic gold medals, with DeHart also making history by becoming the first black winner of an individual Olympic gold medal.
Speaking to journalists after Saturday’s impressive performances, Makusha, who finished fourth in the long jump at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, said after winning the long jump event:
“I just wanted to win. I told myself I was supposed to go out there and go the deepest. So that’s what drove me. I went down the runway and everything worked all right. And I had a good jump.”
Of his 100m run, he said: “I’m not a strong starter. It’s just the way I run. When I turned back and looked at the clock, I heard everybody screaming. It’s a good feeling.”