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Bruintjies off to Germany before his World Indoor Champs bid
- Updated: February 1, 2016
Joint South African co-record holder in the 100 metre sprint, Henricho Bruintjies has decided to compete at the IAAF World Indoor Championships… because he cannot resist a new challenge
When he lines up to race the 60m in Dusseldorf, Germany on Wednesday, it will be the first time he will compete indoors. He will also be in action on 6 February in Karlsruhe and on 13 February in Berlin.
He will then return to South Africa to do his final preparation for the Championships in Portland, USA which take place from 17-20 March.
‘The reason why I decided to make my indoor debut is that it’s important to race against the top guys as often as possible. It’s the only way to really improve as a sprinter.
‘Competing at the World Indoors will also give me an opportunity to represent South Africa, which is always very special,’ said Bruintjies, who set a new national mark in the men’s 100m in Switzerland in July last year when he won his heat at the Resisprint Meeting in a time of 9.97 seconds.
Some people consider the 60m sprint to be a different race tactically compared to the 100m. ‘At this stage I’m not in a position to give an honest opinion, but I don’t think running a 60m sprint can be very different from running the100 metres. I think it will be important to get a good start in the shorter race, but for the rest it’s merely a matter of running as fast as you can if you want to be the first to finish.
‘My coach (Hennie Kriel) and I have focused on getting a good start during the past few weeks.’
On Saturday Bruintjies competed in the 60m sprint at a league meeting at the Pilditch Stadium in Pretoria. He won in a time of 6.69 seconds and given the circumstances he is satisfied.
‘I have had a slight hamstring niggle which meant that I couldn’t train as I would have like to during the last 10 days. That is why I raced. I needed to see how my leg would hold up. It is comforting to have finished the race without any pain.’
Kriel (coach at Tuks/HPC) sees Bruintjies’ participation at the indoor meetings as part of a bigger plan to ensure that he becomes a truly world-class sprinter.
‘To be a top sprinter an athlete needs to be able to adapt to various challenges and circumstances. Competing indoors is a new challenge for Henricho. He should realise that, no matter what happens during the next two weeks at the indoor meetings, when the final results are released there will not be an extra column for athletes’ excuses.’
Kriel said his main goal for the season is to help Bruintjies to consistently run times faster than 9.90 seconds in the 100 metres.
‘That is what it takes to be a force in international sprinting. The ultimate for Henricho would be to run 9.90 in the Olympic final in Rio, because if he could do that, he would have a good chance to win a medal.
‘But at the moment we take it one race at a time. Athletics fans should realise that Henricho is still in the development stage of his career. He is learning something new every time he races. Hopefully, in the foreseeable future, this experience will lead to that one perfect race at a major event,’ said the Tuks/HPC coach.