Having bounced back to win his seventh national title in the short sprint last season, the 32-year-old sprinter looks set to give his younger countrymen a battle in the chase for positions in the SA team at this year’s IAAF World Championships in Doha and next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
As he gains momentum on the comeback trail, we take a look back on Magakwe’s lengthy career.
In his most memorable performance, Magakwe had the crowd on its feet after he scorched across the line in 9.98 seconds at the 2014 ASA Senior Championships in Pretoria.
He became the first South African athlete to break through the 10-second barrier and dragged a young Akani Simbine to a personal best of 10.02, triggering the start of a rapid improvement in local sprinting which has gained momentum ever since.
100m – 9.98
150m – 15.35
200m – 20.23
4x100m – 38.35
In the build-up to the 2012 London Olympics, Magakwe achieved the qualifying standards eight times in the 100m and 200m events on the domestic circuit.
He was nonetheless omitted from the national team after failing to meet the criteria which required athletes to achieve the standards at local and international meetings.
Magakwe was banned from the sport for two years after missing an out-of-competition anti-doping test in December 2014.
Though he later admitted his life had spiralled out of control and he had battled with alcohol addiction while he was suspended from the track, he made a return to competition in 2017 and has regained his best form under coach Paul Gorries since shifting his base from Rustenburg to Cape Town.
2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow – 4th, 4x100m (38.35)
2014 CAA African Championships, Marrakech – 4th, 100m (10.19)
2012 CAA African Championships, Porto Novo – 1st, 100m (10.29); 4th, 200m (20.87); 1st, 4x100m (39.26)
2011 World Student Games, Shenzen – 1st, 4x100m (39.25)
2010 CAA African Championships, Nairobi – 3rd, 100m (10.14); 3rd, 200m (20.56); 1st, 4x100m (39.12)
2010 IAAF Continental Cup, Split – 3rd, 4x100m relay (39.82)
Magakwe has won the SA 100m title seven times in the last 10 years. He lifted the national crown six years in a row between 2009 and 2014, and he stunned his more favoured compatriots to reclaim the title with a stunning victory in Pretoria last season.
Aside from his impressive 100m performances over the last decade, Magakwe has also flaunted his ability over the 200m distance. He won the 100m/200m double at the SA Championships in 2012 and successfully defended both crowns in 2013. He has also proved to be a useful member of the national 4x100m relay team.