The new Mondo track at TuksAthletics is said to be the fastest in South Africa. If this is the case, Carina Horn might come close to running 100 m in under 11,1 s on Saturday, 18 June 2016. She might even set a new South African record.
Horn (Tuks/hpc) had been promising to run the 'perfect race' earlier this season. Two weeks ago she won the 100 m in 11,18 s at the Liese Prokop Memorial in St Pölten, Austria. Her time in the heats was also 11,18 s.
At the Diamond League Meeting in Birmingham the following weekend, she got 'snookered' by a headwind (−3,1 m/s) only managed a time of 11,57 s.
There can be no arguing that Horn is one of the country's most dedicated athletes, often training for as many as eight hours a day, but the fact that Tamzin Thomas, who came third in 11,67 s at the South African Championships, will also be running might force Horn to push herself even further.
'I don't mind putting in the long hours because I see it as a way to get closer to the goals I set for myself. It is just a matter of being patient. I know I am capable of running the perfect race. I just don't know when it will happen,' said Horn.
Gift Leotlela (TuksSport High School), the South African 100 m junior champion, has not yet decided whether he will compete or not. If he does, his goal will definitely be to qualify for the Olympic Games.
Leotlela is in excellent form. Two weeks ago in Spain, he raced against senior athletes and managed to win both the 100 m and the 200 m, with less than 30 minutes between races. He has run a time of 10,21 s, which is just 0,05 s slower than the Olympic qualification standard, on three occasions this season.
The long-jump duel between Luvo Manyonga and Zarck Visser promises to be a definite highlight on Saturday. Owing to some concerns over an injury, Visser has been flying under the radar this season, but he is adamant that he wants to qualify for the Olympic Games. He has proved that, once he has resolved to do something, he does not relent until it has been achieved.
It was his determination that enabled him to jump 8,41 m last year. Only Khotso Mokoena, the South African record holder (8,5 m), has jumped farther.
Manyonga jumped 8,3 m at Pilditch earlier this year. He promised that this was only the beginning and that greater things were to come.
Discus thrower Ross Tucker (Tuks) is another athlete who will be worth watching. He makes no secret about his intention to qualify for the Olympic Games and his performance record indicates that he is likely to succeed. Earlier this season he threw 64,24 m, which is just 76 cm short of the Olympic qualification standard. At the South African Championships he placed second with a throw of 63,96 m.
'I know I can qualify. My goal is not merely to throw 65 m; my coach, 'Dup' du Preez, and I are working towards throwing 67 m. It is definitely doable, but I don't want to peak too early. The big throw must happen in the Olympic final,' said Tucker.
Other athletes who have realistic chances of qualifying for the Games in Rio on Saturday are pole-vaulter Eben Beukes, who has jumped 5,6 m (10 cm short of qualifying), and Reinhard van Rensburg, whose best time for the season is 1:46,58, 0,58 s short of the qualifying pace.
Tsholofelo Thipe, currently South Africa's second-fastest female athlete in the 400 m event, will also compete on Saturday. She won the 400 m in 51,96 s at Pilditch.