United States-based track and field star Ngonidzashe Makusha reportedly signed his first professional contract on Tuesday.
Although details were still sketchy, sources told NewsDay Sport the national record holder in long jump and most recently the 100m, penned a deal with Pro-Sports International.
The deal will see Makusha racing professionally in Europe from end of July before the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Track and Field Championships Daegu, South Korea, in August.
Pro-Sports International, run by American Caroline Feith, is a global professional organisation guiding professional track and field athletes.
It is licensed by the world’s track and field governing body IAAF and its headquarters are in the Netherlands.
It’s the same company that manages the affairs of veteran Zimbabwean sprinter Brian Dzingai who finished fourth in the 200m at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Dzingai and the 24-year-old Makusha also share the same coach in Ken Harnden, a former Zimbabwe hurdler, who is now coaching at Florida State University.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 100m and long jump champion formally announced that he would forego his final year of eligibility and begin competing professionally on Wednesday last week.
Addressing a press conference in the Moore Centre at Doak Campbell Stadium in Florida, Makusha told reporters that he was prepared to take the next step in his career.
“I am just really happy to be doing this right now,” Makusha said. It has been a real long journey for me here at Florida State. I loved it here and I still do. I don’t think I will go anywhere — I will still be a Seminole.
“I love working with my coaches and my teammates and I will always cherish that. I think it’s that time of my life and my career that I go to another level.”
The long jump sensation was last week named the athlete of the year by the US Track and Field and Cross-country Coaches’ Association .
He is the national record holder in the long jump with a leap of 8,40 metres and the 100m sprint after clocking an impressive 9,89 seconds in winning the 100m at the 2011 NCAA Division I Championships in the US on June 10.