Nyongani wants Oscar back on track

HARARE - Zimbabwean sprinter Talkmore Nyongani, a former training partner of disabled South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, says he would be “delighted” to see the blade runner free and back on the track again.

Nyongani made the remarks after Pistorius was last week cleared of premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but found guilty of culpable homicide.

This was after Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the prosecution’s claim that the double-amputee intended to kill Reeva at his Pretoria home in the early hours of February 14, 2013.

However, the 27-year-old could still be jailed after he was found guilty of culpable homicide.

Two-time Zimbabwean Olympian together with the blade runner’s coach, Ampie Louw, trained Pistorius at the University of Pretoria in the build up to his 2012 London Olympics quest.

“There were a lot of programmes I was doing with his management,” Nyongani told the Daily News from South Africa.

“I’m happy with the way things have turned out, we need him back at training.”

Nyongani, together with Pistorius’ coach of nearly eight years, Louw, trained with him twice a day, six days a week at Turks.

At that time, Pistorius was gunning to become the first double amputee to participate in the Olympics.  He raced in the men's 400 metres and subsequent 4x400 metres relay races.

31-year-old Nyongani, who rose to prominence in 2002 at the World Junior Championships in Jamaica, where he finished a credible fourth with a time of 45.93 seconds, developed a closer relationship with Pistorius during his time as his trainer.

The two travelled the world together for competitions and were roommates.

Nyongani, who holds Zimbabwe’s junior 400metres record, believes Pistorius will emerge from the trial a stronger person.

“He is strong. He can make it,” he said.

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