Steenkamp sets new SA 100m-hurdles record in Switzerland

Rikenette Steenkamp in action earlier this year. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Rikenette Steenkamp from TuksAthletics set a new South African record this past weekend when she won the 100m-hurdles in 12.81s at the Resisprint International Meeting in Switzerland.

She was faster in the heats when she recorded a time of 12.70s, but unfortunately, the wind from behind was 2.2m/s, which means her time won’t be recognised officially.

Earlier this month in Prague she ran 12.91s to improve on Corien Botha’s 20-year-old record.

Steenkamp could have been forgiving if she slightly upset about the wind, as during last year’s meeting she ran 12.92s which would have been a national record at the time but the wind prevented her from celebrating. Steenkamp was however far from despondent after her performance in this morning’s heats.

“I will be honest. I did surprise myself because I thought I could run 12.90s, but my time was so much faster. It excited me, as I realised that a time of 12.80s could be on the cards in the final. In the three hours leading up to the final I was quite hyper but also highly motivated,” said the Tuks athlete.

The young star said her coach, Hennie Kriel, helped her to stay focussed and not allow herself to get carried away.

“His advice was that I should concentrate on doing the basics right. If I do, it will be a fast time again. I did so. My start was not too bad, but somehow I lost my rhythm that led to the athlete on my inside starting to catch up with me. I had to reprimand myself and I had to relax to be able to focus again. Then I accelerated,” said Steenkamp.

She will be returning home for ten days and her next race will be during the World Cup.

It is all speculative, but it is still interesting to note, that Steenkamp’s time of 12.81s would have been good enough for a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and she would have qualified for last year’s final at the World Championships in London.

“At the moment it feels to me like the sky is the limit,” concluded an elated Steenkamp.

 

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  AUTHOR
Rekord Pretoria

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