#TuksAthletics: "I have more power in my legs, and my speed has improved," says Marione Fourie

Posted on April 01, 2023

If the 20-year-old, Marione Fourie, can have her way, there might be a South African record on the cards when she lines up to race the women’s 100m hurdles at the ASA Track & Field Championships in Potchefstroom.

The BSportSci student at the University of Pretoria. Two weeks ago, she set a personal best over 100 metres running 11.93s in Sasolburg. On the same day, she also clocked 12.99s in the 100m-hurdles. 
"If the weather allows it, I believe I can run 12.81s or at least come close to doing so," says Fourie. 

Rikenette Steenkamp set the South African 100m hurdles record in 2018 in Switzerland, running 12.81s.  Fourie has dominated the 100m hurdles racing over the last three years in South Africa. Since 2021, she has won 21 of the 23 races she competed in. She was last beaten in South Africa on 19 June 2021. Her current best time is 12.93s. However, the two-time South African champion ran a wind-assisted time of 12.82s last year in Mauritius. 

During last year's World Championships in the USA, she clocked 12.94s in the heats and 12.93s in the semifinals.

Fourie's confidence in being faster sprouts from the gym work she has been doing. 

"Last year, I could feel there was something amiss when I raced. I knew I had to do something different this season, so it was decided that I should do more gym work. But it is not about pushing heavy weights. I am training under the supervision of a biokinetic. 

"It is already started to pay dividends. Apparently, my one leg was weaker than the other. It is much-improved thanks to the gym training. I have more power in my legs, and my speed has improved."
According to Fourie, she has also worked on being faster on the starting blocks. 

"It felt like I always needed to catch up when racing. A good start would be advantageous, especially if I retain my top-end speed."

One of Fourie's frustrations racing in South Africa is that she is never being tested when racing. 

"I am usually in the lead by the second hurdle. Then it is me against the stopwatch. It is not always a good thing because sometimes I tend to relax when I know I have already won. 

"That is why my coach, Jaun Strydom, has got me training against a 16-year-old. I still win, but he really pushes me to my limits.

"I have also started to help 'Coach Jaun' with his younger athletes. It is a good thing because talking to them about the correct technique forces me to rethink how I do things. I am actually not big on talking. I am more of a doer. Young athletes always say that they would like to run like me. It incentivises me to execute my technique to perfection."

If things go according to plan, Fourie hopes to be based in Europe before the World Championships in Budapest. She could get an invite to compete in a Diamond League Meeting. 

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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