Top Zimbabwe athlete Ngoni Makusha made up for being overlooked for his country’s prestigious awards, the Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) by winning The Bowerman award in the US on Wednesday evening.
The Bowerman, now in its third year, is presented by the United States Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches’ Association to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track and field athlete in the US.
“Never in my life did I think I would be standing in front of great people. If I didn’t get this opportunity, my life would have been very different in Zimbabwe,” Makusha told semioles.com after being presented with the award.
His compatriot, who is also his coach at Florida State University, Ken Handern, was also full of praise for the youngster.
“To see a young man grow up like he did — it’s doubly special for me, because of where he came from. This is an uplifting event.
“Everything he’s done in his career was done in the right way. What everyone saw him do this year, was just a small part in his life to get to this point.
“He overcame so many great odds to get here, it makes me overjoyed. It’s such an honour for me to have helped somebody from my country,” Harnden was quoted as saying.
According to reports from the US, Makusha was honoured for an excellent season that saw him winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) outdoor titles in the 100m and long jump, joining Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens and Michigan’s DeHart Hubbard as the fourth man in NCAA Division I history to claim such a double at a single championship.
He also won the NCAA long jump title during the indoor season, becoming the first since 2006 to sweep the event’s two titles in Arturs Abolins, Nebraska.