South Africa’s ‘sprint revolution’ continued in Madrid last night when Carina Horn sprinted to a time of 11.06s (+1.2m/s wind) in the 100 metres, equalling Evette de Klerk’s 25-year-old South African record in the process.
Horn finished third in the final of the World Challenge Meeting. This was also an historic performance because De Klerk and Geraldine Pillay (11.07s) are the only other local sprinters who were able to dip under 11.10s. Horn’s time of 11.06s is the fastest time run by a South African athlete at sea level.
The latest blitzkrieg means that the only South African sprint records that are still gathering dust are De Klerk’s 200m record of 22.06s (set in 1989) and Heide Seyerling’s 400m record 50.05s (set in 2000).
“I have not slept a wink since I ran 11.06s. Actually I am still battling to believe that I have really done it,” Horn texted early this morning.
She was, however, slightly disappointed with her performance in the final.
“The conditions were ideal but unfortunately my legs were dead and I could not get them to go faster. But I am looking forward to the rest of the season. I think I still have a few good races left in my legs.”
Jaun Strydom, Horn’s former coach, said he never doubted that Horn was able to improve on or equal De Klerk’s record.
When Horn left South Africa to train under the guidance of Rainer Schopf in Linz her best time in the 100m was 11.59s. She has since improved by 0.53s.
“A few years ago there were quite a few ‘experts’ who were of the opinion that Carina does not have what it takes to become a world-class sprinter, but she is definitely one of the most dedicated and driven athletes I know. She goes to the track at 8:30 in the morning and usually trains until about 16:30 in the afternoon. This means that she puts in a full eight hours at the ‘office’,” the Tuks Athletics coach said.
“I sat down with Carina and Rainer Schopf (coach) in January to help strategise her season. Right from the start our goal was for her to run a time faster than 11.10s. Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies had to break through the psychological 10 seconds barrier. Now that Carina has broken through the 11.10s barrier, I think she will not have any problems to regularly run times of 11.10s and faster.”
Strydom agrees that Horn and Schopf made the right decision to focus only on the 100 metres for now.
“Carina’s other big goal is to make name for herself in indoor athletics over the 60 metres and with this in mind she is working very hard on her explosive power. She might just cause a major surprise at next year’s World Indoors meeting.”
Earlier this season while competing in European indoor meetings, Horn proved that she is in good form. Of the five races in which she competed so far, she won two and finished second twice.
Of more importance is that Horn managed to improve on her own SA 60m record twice, running times of 7.21s in Dusseldorf and 7.20s in Berlin.