National long jump champion Lynique Prinsloo believes the body achieves what the mind believes.

This augers well for the University of Johannesburg education student, who will be competing in the opening round of the Varsity Athletics competition in Stellenbosch on March 4.

The 24-year-old zoned in on her personal best of 6.81m when she opened her year with a leap of 6.66m at the recent UJ Invitational meeting.

“I was very happy with my performance as it was my first competition of the season.

“Considering the time of year, I’m already in good form and will hit my peak periods when I need to.”

She said her training in the week leading up to the UJ event was similar to her normal regime, albeit with the focus on less quantity and more quality.

“It is all about preparing mentally and physically while being relaxed and focused. It is basically eat, train, sleep and repeat.”

Prinsloo, originally from Springs, said her first competitive jumps of the season provided her and coach Emmarie Fouché with good data before the Varsity Athletics campaign.

“I’m confident that I’ll be able to better my PB soon as we are working to a structured plan.”

In fact, she said, they were working towards breaking the seven-metre barrier this year.

“I’m also aiming for a gold medal at the African championships in late June and would like to reach the final in Rio in August.”

She said her training partners at the UJ academy have become like family and their coach controlled them with a firm hand.

“We focus on elements such as speed and my approach and combine that with technical drills and gym work.”

She said she also worked with Morné Nagel, a former world championship gold medallist in the 4x100m relay.

The former Hoërskool Hugenote matriculant said she had participated in athletics from her primary school days and initially focused on hurdling.

“It was only in high school when I really started to bloom. I enjoyed the short sprints, but long jump turned out to be my calling.”

Prinsloo, who has already recorded the third best distance ever by a South African, said she first competed in the national championships as a Grade 10 pupil and has placed on the podium ever since.

She chose to stream in psychology as she wanted to incorporate her passion for athletics with her future career in education.

“I want to equip kids with the mindset to become the best that they can be.”

As for her own athletics future, she simply said “watch this space”.

Issued by: Coetzee Gouws
On behalf of: Universityof Johannesburg Sport