Luxolo Adams determined to overcome “speed bumps” on road to Paris

By Karien Jonckheere

Luxolo Adams is yet to get his track season underway. A grade 2 hamstring tear has kept him on the sidelines, but the 27-year-old sprinter is confident he can come back stronger than ever as he builds towards the Paris Olympics, with the opening ceremony now less than eight weeks away.

“We’ve had some speed humps on the road, but I’ve expanded my team in terms of my health side of things, so we are quite positive, everyone is working hard towards that,” he explained, adding that he has based himself in Johannesburg to get the treatment he needs.

“I should leave South Africa mid-June to go and start competing against the best in the world and then we take it from there.”

Adams made a name for himself by running a speedy 19.82 seconds on his way to victory in the 200m at the Paris Diamond League meet in 2022.

A month later he reached the 200m final at his first World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. But at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, after running 20.15 in the heats, he was involved in the bizarre collision between two golf carts transporting athletes from the warm-up track to the stadium and was badly shaken before his semifinal.

Fortunately for the Gqeberha sprinter, the quick time in those Budapest heats saw him qualifying for the Paris Olympics as he has not competed since then.

“I’m a seasonal athlete,” he explained. “I always come through at the end, and when I’m back I’m back. I think I’ve mastered that now in terms of knowing how to go back, and how to run fast after I’ve had an obstacle along the way,” added Adams, who has dealt with his fair share of obstacles during his career.

“I don’t let that thing put me off my talent. This is my food, this is how I live, this is what puts food on the table. So I’m not going to let anything small get into my head,” he reckoned.

“We don’t want to get too excited because we’ve got a big fish to fry, so we are taking each and every step with precautions. Obviously we want to get to the Olympic Games.”

As for the excellent form that has already been shown this season by other international sprinters, Adams added: “With everyone that has competed so far most of them are looking good… I’m happy for them that they are running fast times now, but I would be worried because it’s still early.

“The Olympic Games are only in August. We want to get to the final so we can’t impress early, we need to impress when it matters.”