JOHANNESBURG, March 16 – University of Pretoria-Tuks’ Carina Horn raced to a time of 11.03sec on Thursday at the SA Championships to finally break Evette de Klerk’s 28-year-old 100m record set on April 20, 1990.
South Africa’s leading women’s sprinter Horn bettered it by 0.03sec.
And South Africa’s former ‘First Lady of Speed’ said that after all those years it was high time that her record was broken.
“To be honest, I am a bit nostalgic knowing that my record is gone, but then again I did not expect it to be part of the statistics for so long. It was getting to be worrisome.
Athletics records are there to be broken as it means the sport is healthy. I am glad that it was Carina that got the record because I understand she had put in long hard hours to be able to do so.
“From personal experience, I can vouch how difficult it is in sprints especially the 100m to shave off those hundredths of seconds. It has taken me a long time from running 11.14 to be able to run a time of 11.06 eventually.”
There is indeed truth in what De Klerk is saying. Horn (Tuks) equalled De Klerk’s record in 2015, and it took her another three years to improve by just 0.03.
The South African record in the 200m which De Klerk set in April 1989 running 22.06 still stands.
“Don’t get me wrong because I don’t want to sound arrogant but I think it will be a while before anyone comes close to improving on the 200m record. Our local sprinters are still battling just to break 23 seconds.
“I think one of the problems is that we currently got individuals in every event that is trying to lift the standard of racing. The day I ran 22.06 in Pietersburg (Polokwane) there were five of us dipping under 23 seconds, including Myrtle Bothma.
“In the 100m there was never such a thing as an easy race as I was pushed by the likes of Elinda Vorster, Marcel Winkler, Mari-Lise Coetzer and others. If you did not give it your all every time, you raced there was a realistic chance that you would lose.”
Horn’s Austrian coach, Rainer Schopf, was quite emotional moments after she had set a new record.
“At long last, we achieved what we set out to do. The last few years were not easy as we made some mistakes. Luckily we can learn from it. The most important thing we have learned is the importance of indoor racing for Carina.
“Last year she did not do so at all. It led to her having quite an average season as a sprinter. In 2015 when she equalled the South African record running 11.06, she also improved had improved her indoor time in the 60 metres to 7.19.
“Earlier this season she twice improved the South African indoor-record setting times of 7.10 and 7.09, and now she ran 11.03 in the 100m.”
Schopf confidently predicts it is now only a question of time before the Tuks athlete will dip under 11 seconds in the 100 metres.
– African News Agency (ANA)