Fourie’s self-belief reignited

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Lehann_fourie Gallo Images Lehann Fourie of South Africa (centre) competes in the men's 110m hurdles final at the Olympics.

London – The Olympic Games reignited Lehann Fourie's self-belief, after he had contemplated hanging up his spikes for good.

It was as if the Olympic gods intervened when a downtrodden Fourie made the final of the 110 metres hurdles on Wednesday, in emphatic style.

Fourie missed the SA record by 0.02 seconds in the semi-finals, with a personal best time of 13.28 seconds, to book his place in the final two hours later.

“I thought this was going to be my last meet – not just this year as I was going to re-evaluate about next year and everything,” Fourie said.

“I got tired of injuries and the way I was going on.

“But I think making the Olympic final definitely gave me a little bit more motivation to try harder.

“I know I can go faster and work towards Rio in 2016.”

He was unable to repeat his performance in the final, however, finishing seventh in 13.53.

Fourie, who was somewhat of a surprise inclusion in the SA team, had struggled with niggling injuries in the lead-up to the Games.

With his confidence at a low, and Fourie ready to throw in the towel, his run in the semi-final resuscitated his career.

“After the semi-final, I was shocked and I felt maybe I can be one of the best in the world,” he said.

“It was a good experience, especially just making the team.

“I'd been sick, and am still on antibiotics, and I’ve had a few injuries over the last couple of weeks.”

His low esteem meant that he did not think that he would go past the semi-final and, subsequently, did not prepare himself for a final.

“I didn’t expect to make the final,” Fourie said.

“I always hoped, I always prayed, but I didn’t even know what time the final was,” Fourie said.

“I didn’t even bring a sandwich or anything for afterwards.”

He said while many believed in his potential, he did not share their sentiments, but after SA's Olympic body, Sascoc, gave him a lifeline by including him in the team, he did not want to be perceived as a mere passenger at the Games.

“It’s been a great experience where I surprised myself,” he said.

“A lot of other people believed in me but it was really hard for me to believe in myself.

“I told myself before the semi-final that I had 13 seconds to change my life.

“In 13 seconds, you can really write your destiny and I was literally running as if it was my last race.” – Sapa

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