Cape Town — Marioné Fourie said it “feels really great” after she claimed her second successive 100m hurdles title at the South African athletics championships at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town on Friday.
Not even a lengthy wait in cold and windy conditions could deter the 19-year-old Gauteng North athlete as she kept her composure to clinch victory in a time of 13.43 seconds.
It was well off her personal best of 12.93, but the slower time was understandable under the circumstances, with some light rain also falling in the Mother City during the afternoon.
The young Marione Fourie put her all into today's Women's 100m Hurdles Final and it shows. She took first place with a time of 13.43s. Congratulations Marione!🏆🔥#ASANationalChampionships #AthleticsSouthAfrica #CapeTown #Athletics pic.twitter.com/PmMXwKMe56— Athletics_SA (@AthleticsSA_) April 22, 2022
The finalists had to wait nearly 20 minutes in the blocks before they could run, while there was also a headwind of -2.7 metres per second.
“It feels really great. The wind was a little bit hard, but that’s not the end of the world. But other than that, it was a great race,” Fourie said track-side afterwards.
“We had to wait long, and the weather wasn’t very good. If the raindrops are in your eyes, then you actually stress! It was about 15 or 20 minutes that we had to wait.
“The technique was okay, but the wind was just a bit in my face. But it’s fine – these are the conditions and you have to run in it. It was difficult to keep warm, as I started to get a little bit cold. And you can’t do a run-through, because then your muscles are going to get tired.
“I wanted to run a sub-13 again, but it’s fine. With this wind, I ran a perfect time. I can’t do anything about it.”
Fourie is chasing Rikenette Steenkamp’s SA record of 12.81, and she is sure to get even closer during the international season.
“I didn’t expect it at all, how I ran (throughout the season). I wanted to run a 13.2, maybe, but I really ran (hard) and my coach (Jaun Strydom) trained me like this,” Fourie said.
“I’m going to run the African champs, and I want to run a sub-13 there as well. There is a Nigerian girl (Tobi Amusan), and I hope she can push me to run a sub-13. I am going to Europe, but I want to qualify for the world champs – that’s my aim.”
In the men’s 110m hurdles final, favourite Antonio Alkana held off the challenge of veteran Ruan de Vries to claim the gold in 13.48 seconds.
Alkana has been getting quicker throughout the season, but it was again difficult to get close to his SA record of 13.11.
The late afternoon action saw an epic battle in the shot put between Olympic finalist Kyle Blignaut and Burger Lamprechts Junior.
Blignaut had a late start to the season, and is still getting back into his best form.
But he was pleased to pull off a couple of 20-metre throws, and was victorious with a 20.09m effort, with Lamprechts second with 19.78m.
“Happy to be over 20m again, but I feel as if this season doesn’t want to get started,” Blignaut said afterwards.
“We have a couple of weeks off now before the African champs, so me and my coach (Pierre Blignaut, no relation) are going to go back to the drawing board and hopefully figure a few things out that’s just missing this season.
“But happy to defend a South African title, and just get another one behind me.”
Earlier on Friday, Clarence Munyai underlined his status as the leading contender for the gold medal in the men’s 200m final today with a blisteringly quick run in his semi-final.
Munyai lined up in the last race out of three, and stormed to a superb victory in a thrilling time of 20.03 seconds – although there was an illegal wind behind him of 2.3 metres per second.
He left the rest of the field in his wake, with the second-placed athlete, Bradley Olifant, producing a time of 20.56.
In the first semi-final, Luxolo Adams showed that he will be the main rival to Munyai by cruising to a comfortable 20.31 win.