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Horn all set to dash in Dusseldorf as part of her road to Rio

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By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s joint quickest 100-metre athlete, Carina Horn had a stellar 2015 and will be looking for more of the same when her Olympic year programme gets out of the starting blocks in Germany on Wednesday.
Dusseldorf is the venue for her first indoor meeting of the season and she’ll be lining up for the 60-metre dash. At the same meeting last year she set a new SA record of 7.21 seconds and improved that by 0.01sec at a meeting in Berlin later in the season.
She’s also got three other indoor events in her sights, two in Germany and one in Glasgow, Scotland on 20 February. The date of the last of those meetings is one of the reasons why she’ll miss March’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, US.
‘I would’ve loved to compete at the World Indoor Championships but logistically it’s just not possible. Glasgow is the last indoor meeting of note which means that in the four weeks leading up to the World Championships I wouldn’t be able to compete. It’s far from being an ideal situation, because if you want to get good results you need to be race sharp.
‘The other reason why I decided to skip Indoors is because it is in the USA. Travelling to get there is never easy because you normally end up such a ‘travel-marathon’. The fact that you have to cross a few time zones further complicates matters, because you have to allow enough time for your body to adapt.
‘If I had decided to compete at the Championships I would basically have had only slightly more than a week to prepare for the South African Championships in Stellenbosch (15-16 April),’ Horn explained.
Austria-based Horn, found a few moments to tell Road to Rio 2016 what she’s been up to and what she’s looking for this season.
‘Last year was very successful but there’s always something bigger and better [faster in her case] that a person is aiming for. I haven’t changed much in my training compared to last year, just a few technical things here and there.’
Being the joint SA record-holder (11.06 with Evette de Klerk) means there’s no time to take her foot off the pedal. ‘I didn’t take any time off over Christmas and New Year. In fact I was in bed at 10pm on New Year’s Even so I could get up early and train.’
She’s coached by Austrian Rainer Schopf. ‘He doesn’t stay very close to me and has a fair way to drive every day. But I stay very close to the track and gym. It’s an Olympic centre and my house is about 600m away Most of the time I train on my own and in between meetings there are two or three guys that I arrange to come and do my starts against.’
She’ll be back in South Africa in April for the nationals, another important stepping stone to her goal of making the Rio Olympics later this year. ‘I don’t have any specific time I’m going for, I just want to run well in my races, and naturally win the title.
‘As for Olympics it’s in the back of my mind just about every day. That’s the focus and everything I do this year is geared towards that.’


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