Rikenette Steenkamp breaks SA hurdles record despite mistakes

05 June 2018 - 11:03 By David Isaacson
University of Pretoria student Rikenette Steenkamp is the new owner of the South African 100m hurdles record which has stood for 20 years.
University of Pretoria student Rikenette Steenkamp is the new owner of the South African 100m hurdles record which has stood for 20 years.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

Even making mistakes in her race‚ University of Pretoria student Rikenette Steenkamp finally broke the 20-year-old South African 100m hurdles record on Monday night.

She finished second in Prague to clock 12.90sec and slice 0.04sec off the 12.94 mark Corien Botha set in July 1998.

Former world junior champion Elvira Herman of Belarus won in a personal best 12.69.

“To at long last break Corien Botha’s record was amazing‚” Steenkamp said in a press release issued by Tuks Sport.

“I have dreamt doing so for the previous seven years. What excites me is that it was not the perfect race.

“My technique going over the first four hurdles was possibly the best I have ever done. But I was coming so fast onto the hurdles that it led to me losing a bit of rhythm.

"Then I hit the sixth hurdle — I can’t remember when last that happened.”

Steenkamp came close to the mark last season‚ twice dipping under 13 seconds.

She went 12.99 in Ostrava and then hit 12.92‚ only to be denied the SA record by illegal wind assistance of 2.1 metres per second.

The legal limit is 2mps.

Then her 2017 season ended prematurely when she got injured in mid-July.

Steenkamp was one of 10 South Africans in action at the Josef Odlozil Memorial meet.

Antonio Alkana was second in the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.42; Zarck Visser was second in the men’s long jump with an 8.00m leap; Cornel Fredericks was third in the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.42 and Sokwakhana Zazini fourth in 49.56.

Henricho Bruintjies was fourth in the men’s 100m in 10.11 and Thando Roto fifth in 10.17; Orazio Cremona sixth in the men’s shot put with a heave of 20.45m; Zakithi Nene was sixth in the men’s 400m in 46.82; and‚ Gena Lofstrand 12th in the women’s 800m in 2min 06.62sec.

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