JOHANNESBURG – After threatening the barrier for close to a year Rikenette Steenkamp finally broke the South African 100m hurdles record at the Josef Odložil Memorial in Prague.
Steenkamp shaved 0.03 of a second off the previous mark Corien Botha set in 1998 finishing second in Monday evening’s race with a time of 12.91 seconds.
She made an impressive return to the track in 2017 after a three-year absence due to injury when she became only the second South African to dip below 13 seconds in the short-hurdles race.
Steenkamp was fast out of the blocks holding a narrow lead before Belarus’ Elvira Herman claimed the victory with a fast 12.69. Hungary’s Luca Kozak rounded off the podium with a time of 13.04.
National record!!! Great run by @Rikenette at the #JosefOdlozilMemorial in Prague. She takes second place in the 100m hurdles race in 12.91 (unratified), breaking the SA mark of 12.94 which was set by Corien Botha in July 1998
The 25-year-old Steenkamp made a cautious start to this season after she missed out on last year’s IAAF World Championships in London.
It was a successful meeting for the large South African contingent with hurdlers Antonio Alkana and Cornel Fredericks earning podium places.
South African record-holder Alkana finished second in the men’s 110m hurdles clocking 13.42 with Saudi athlete Ahmed Khader Al-Muwallad winning the race in a time of 13.36.
Lining up with world youth champion Sokwakhana Zazini, Fredericks finished third in the one-lap hurdles race with a season’s best of 49.42.
Zazini followed behind him in fourth place with 49.56 with American Quincy Downing winning in 49.31.
Long jumper Zarck Visser also found his way onto the podium finishing second in his specialist event with a best jump of 8.00m.
The South African narrowly missed out on the top step of the podium with Ukraine’s Vladyslav Mazur taking the spoils with a winning leap of 8.03m.
South Africa’s short sprinters spearheaded by former national record-holder Henricho Bruintjies missed out on a medal in the 100m final.
Bruintjies crossed the line in fourth place with a time of 10.11 with Thando Roto posting a season’s best of 10.17 for fifth.
American Mike Rodgers raced to victory in a world-leading time of 9.92.