09/04/2018 09:32 BST | Updated 09/04/2018 10:02 BST

Usain Bolt Inspired Madibaz Sprint Star Luxolo Adams

The up-and-coming sprinter from the Eastern Cape had his sights set on becoming a footballer when he saw Bolt at the Beijing Olympics and switched to running.


Born in Burgersdorp in Eastern Cape, 21-year-old Luxolo Adams – a Bestmed Madibaz club member –changed his passion from soccer to athletics after seeing a video of Usain Bolt competing in the 2008 Olympics.

The video inspired him to race to prominence in South African athletics – winning the 200m title at the national senior championships and beating world championships' bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana in the Athletix Grand Prix meeting in Paarl in March.

This might never have happened had Adams, who finished his schooling at Ndzondelelo High and Hill College in Port Elizabeth, not caught a glimpse of Bolt on television a decade ago.

"I was more interested in soccer when I was growing up, and I was quite a good goalkeeper at first," he says.

"Later on I became a midfielder and ran non-stop. But then I saw a video of Bolt setting world records in the 100m and 200m at the 2008 Olympics [in Beijing]."

"I became so excited, because I love sport. So I decided I wanted to do athletics."

Watching Bolt breaking those records, he realised he could also get somewhere – if he focussed.

He has praised his coach, Gerrie Posthumus, and the Eastern Cape Academy of Sport for supporting him, and admits that his recent performances have boosted his confidence.

"Being the South African 200m champion has shown me that things I only dreamt about are possible.That includes beating a runner like Anaso twice. It's difficult to put in words what that means to me."

Adams is determined to prove himself this season. He received another shot of confidence when he beat U.S. ace Justin Gatliin for third place in the 150m at the Athletix Grand Prix in Pretoria.

"My goals for this year were to prove I can compete with the best in the world – which I have done."

He may just have missed a spot on South Africa's Commonwealth Games team in Australia this year, but we'll be looking for him next time.