Rikenette Steenkamp (Tuks) dipped under 13 seconds in the 100m-hurdles for a second time in less than a week when she competed at the Diamond League Meeting in Stockholm on Sunday.
She finished second clocking 12.99s. As in Prague, it was the former junior world champion, Elvira Herman (Belarus), who outsprinted her. Herman’s winning time in the national race was 12.74s.
Although it was not part of the official Diamond League Meeting Steenkamp said it was exciting to compete as she got an idea of what the League is all about.
Steenkamp had mixed feelings about the time she ran.
“I don’t know what to think. I guess I should be satisfied with a time of 12.99s as it is only the third time officially that I managed to dip under 13 seconds. But after my 12.91s race in Prague, I know that I am capable of running faster times.
“Not that I am looking for excuses, but my preparation for Sunday’s race was far from perfect. I got flu after my 12.91s race. It meant that I could not train for two days. During our race, there were some technical difficulties. We were called up for a restart three times.”
Steenkamp’s next race is on 23 June when she will be competing at Kuortane Games in Finland. She is under no illusions as to the challenge that awaits her.
“I got to improve by about 0.20s if I truly want to be competitive in international races,” said the Tuks athlete whose best time of 12.91s only ranks her 35th on the IAAF-list.
**The Tuks-athletes have indeed been rewriting the record books and pushing the boundaries this season. Steenkamp who has improved on Corien Botha’s 20-year old 100m-hurdles record (12.94s). Steenkamp and Botha are the only two in the history of South African athletics to dip under 13 seconds.
Carina Horn has on two occasions improved on the women’s national record in the 100m. During the SA Champs, she ran 11.03s and, during the Diamond League Meeting in Doha, she clocked 10.98s becoming the first local sprinter to dip under 11 seconds. Horn has also improved the South African 60m indoor-record to 7.09s.
Clarence Munyai set a new South African record in the 200m’s running 19.69s during the national championships. His time ranks him jointly 10th on the IAAF all-time list.