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Horn has unfinished business as she races in Rabat
- Updated: May 18, 2016
Can Carina Horn (Tuks/HPC) break 11 seconds over the 100 metre sprint distance? This question will hopefully be answered before the end of the year.
The fact that Horn is currently one of South Africa’s most improved sprinters cannot be argued.
Over the past two seasons she has consistently managed to run times faster than 11.20 seconds. A definite highlight last year was when she equalled Evette de Klerk’s long-standing South African record of 11.06 (set on 20 April 1990) by running 11.06 in Madrid. On the very same day she ran 11.10 in the heats.
Horn will compete in the Diamond League Meeting in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday. Judging by the provisional start list, it may be the ideal opportunity for her to at least become the lone holder of the South African record.
Six of the 10 athletes competing have run sub 11-second times. Carmelita Jeter (USA), with a best time of 10.64, is the second best female sprinter ever and the current Olympic and world champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica), is the fourth fastest with a best time of 10.70. Weather permitting, the race on Sunday will probably be fast and Horn should be ready to capitalise.
Breaking 11 seconds will be big for Horn as well as for South African athletics, especially considering that to date only 86 athletes have been able to do so in the history of women’s athletics.
On average only 10 female athletes per year are able to break 11 seconds. Last year was an exception with 19 athletes breaking 11 seconds, but in 2014 only seven women were able to do so.
People who watched Horn running the semi-finals at the South African Championships in Stellenbosch are of the opinion that she could have been the sole holder of the national record if she continued to race flat out until the end. Unfortunately she slowed down over the last 30 metres to save herself for the final, winning in 11.26s.
In hindsight the Tuks/HPC athlete admits that it was probably wrong of her not to race for a fast time in the semi-finals because the weather conditions were perfect at the time.
‘The positive I can take from the semi-final was that it made me realise that I had the speed in my legs to run a fast time.’
Horn has made peace with the fact she was, somewhat surprisingly, beaten by Alyssa Conley in the final at Stellenbosch.
‘I don’t want to take anything from Alyssa. She ran a good race and deserved to win, but I made mistakes and paid the price. My problem started when I had a bad start and allowed it to psyche me out of the rest of the race.’
According to Horn since the South African Championships she and her Austrian coach, Rainer Schopf, have been working on improving her race between 20 and 40 metres.
‘I am able keep up with athletes such as Dafne Schippers (Netherlands 200m world champion) for the first 10 metres but then they start to get a lead on me,’ said Horn.
South African 400m hurdles champion, Wenda Nel (Tuks/HPC), will also be in action in Rabat.
Other South African athletes who will be active in Rabat are: Caster Semenya (800m); Dumisane Hlaselo (1500m); Rushwai Samaai (long jump) and Antonio Alkana (110-hurdles).