Antonio ‘Tony’ Alkana competed in the semi-finals of the 110m Men’s Hurdle at the Rio Olympics and finished seventh.
While the world’s attention was focused on Wayde, Alkana hurdled his way to the semi-finals.
Even though he didn’t get the medal, his parents are so proud he got as far as Rio.
Daily Voice had a chat with his parents who witnessed their son’s brilliance on an international platform.
Getting him to Rio wasn’t easy, his parents, relatives and a sponsor (Nike) all had to chip in some funds. Alkana’s parents sold boerewors rolls to get him to Rio.
Ecstatic Mother, Gail Alkana (55), said; “I do not have the words to describe the pride I feel and I have been stunned by his achievements since the day he started running at Silversands Primary School and later at Malibu High School in Eerste River.
“All these years we have supported him, but until I watched him on the international platform, I did not realise how good he is. I am proud of what he has done.”
Alkana’s father, Edward Alkana (55), said he was a bit wounded when he realised that his son had no family to cheer him on.
“I sat in front of the TV watching him warm up for all his races. I don’t think anyone can understand how much I wanted to be with him to show my support. I sent him a WhatsApp message to tell him we are watching him and we love him,” he explained.
Now that Alkana is out of the race, Edward says their focus will be on getting him ready for the next Olympics.
“The work will start immediately when he gets back. His focus will have to shift to improving his technique. He has to bring that time down to 13.30. He has done the race in 13.28 already and must work towards breaking the world record of 12.80.”
Alkana will be arriving in South Africa on Friday.