Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
4 minute read
29 Feb 2020
6:45 am

Zola Budd – Back in business in SA

Wesley Botton

Apart from running the Comrades and Two Oceans ultra-marathons, she hopes to capitalise on her visit by giving a series of business-related workshops and talks.

One of SA’s best-ever runners, Zola Budd never quite reached the heights expected after her 1984 run-in with American Mary Decker at the Olympic Games. Picture: Supplied

Born in Bloemfontein, and still a small-town girl at heart, Zola Budd made global headlines for all sorts of reasons: some good and some bad. Bursting on to the scene in 1984, the barefoot teenager turned heads when she shattered the 5,000m world record by clocking 15 min 1.83sec at the age of 17, though her performance was not ratified by international officials due to South Africa’s isolation. And it was that same political ban which would soon see the youngster departing with her family for the UK, where she received British citizenship in a controversial deal which was pushed...