Adam Lipschitz - Durban’s athletic trump card

  • SportMaccabi2
Durban athlete Adam Lipschitz became South Africa’s most notable individual performer at the Maccabi Games, having won two individual gold medals in the 10km road running race and the 5000m track race in the open category.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Sep 08, 2017

This 23-year-old student is a Glenwood High old boy and started running cross-country and athletics events in primary and then high school, but only took a keen interest in the sport in grade 11.

At the beginning of his semi-professional career, he represented South Africa at a junior level in cross country (8km) and then represented SA again at an under-20 level in the 5000m and 3000m steeplechase events.

Unfortunately, an injury prevented him from furthering his career at that stage and also from competing in the 19th Maccabiah in 2013.

After recovering from injury, Lipschitz began training and competing again on the road only, keeping a watchful eye on the 2017 Games. The unassuming athlete arrived a few days early in Israel to spend time with family, acclimatise and train.

Then came the first result… he won the 10km night road race in Jerusalem in a time of 33:21, beating two American competitors to the finish. Not only did he win the Maccabiah race within the event, he won the event overall.

Only four days later when the track events began, he delivered another brilliant result. He won the 5000m track event in a time of 14:44.50, something he himself had not expected. He overcame two Ethiopian-Israelis on the last lap to take the gold medal.

“Both races were very different,” recalled Lipschitz. “The first one, the 10km night race was in the heart of Jerusalem and ran through the Old City as well. It was very special and unique.

“There was a lot of support and so it made for a great atmosphere. However, the second race was a lot more difficult as I saw the start list in the morning and saw three guys had much faster times than me entering the race, but this was mainly due to the fact that I haven’t had a track season in four years.

“But I was in shape and made sure to make the race as tactical as possible. I ended up winning  with 30m to go, as I went into the last lap in third place. I ended up closing the last lap in 58 seconds. So, the second gold is more cherished as I had to work a lot harder than the first.”

He added: ‘’I am very happy with my results as it’s given me the platform to compete internationally again. I hope to continue the hard training and compete in a few half-marathons or 10kms in Europe later this year.’’

Lipschitz also made a point of mentioning that he was incredibly proud to represent his country again, but also the Durban Jewish community whom he holds dear to his heart. He plays an active role both in his shul and as a CSO volunteer.

The Durban Jewish community now has around 2 000 members, down from its heyday of 7 500. Despite their size, they had seven of their own athletes participating in the Games, of which five won medals.




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