Cooke finishes second in SA

HARARE - Zimbabwe's lone decathlete Keegan Cooke got himself back in contention for a spot at the Rio Olympic Games after a good outing at the South African Championships in Stellenbosch.

Cooke finished second in the event which puts him in good stead ahead of the 2016 Africa Championships to be held in Durban in June.

If the Zimbabwean puts in a good performance in Durban, he might be able to secure a standard A Olympic qualifying time and book a ticket to Rio.

“I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to compete at the SA nationals, we were quite surprised to walk away with a good score and to be in the medals,” Cooke told the Daily News.

“Especially considering our challenge this season of not having a coach or any training partners sometimes going alone (along with my wife) forces you to question the ins and outs of what you are doing-in return it refines the process.”

Last year, Cooke and his wife Amy Suddens were based in the United States with the Santa Barbara Track Club.

He was unable to secure any funding or sponsorship for the Olympic year ahead and returned back to Zimbabwe where he had to improvise on his training.

“As we are seriously limited in the equipment and facilities needed to make for an ideal training situation, I had to get creative, it got quite interesting and always added a unique twist on training,” he said.

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