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Steenkamp storms to fine French victory

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By Mark Etheridge

In a career blighted by lengthy injuries, Pretoria hurdler Rikenette Steenkamp is finally blasting her way into form on the international scene.

Crowned national 100-metre hurdles champion again at SA Championships in Potchefstroom earlier this year, she opened her European campaign with victory at the Herrouville Saint-Clair meeting in France on Thursday.

She won both her heat and final in the same time of 13.13 seconds to beat Poland’s Karolina Koleczek and British athlete Yasmin Miller into  the minor placings with times of 13.28 and 13.44 respectively.

The Tuks athlete was ecstatic after her outing in the north-western French city. ‘Both my races were just awesome.

‘This was my first race after USSA’s and I’m more than happy to have broken the ice and reached my goals so far.

‘The race was at sea level and conditions were a bit cold and windy.’

The wind proved a problem, especially in the hurdles heats an hour out from the final. ‘But luckily it was legal for the final.

‘For me the nice thing is just to be able to run consistently good races. I’m enjoying every second of it and am building up experience and learning all the time. I’m already looking forward to my next race on Tuesday in Slovenia.’

At the same meeting, 2015 Olympic 200m finalist Anaso Jobodwana took second spot in the 100m (10.28) behind Iran’s Hassan Taftian (10.25).

Turks duo Thando Roto and Emile Erasmus took second and third respectively (10.29 and 10.37).

It wasn’t the best of nights for Roto. He stumbled getting out of the blocks and then had to work hard to catch up. ‘I expected to run better. Unfortunately I made some mistakes in the heats and the final. That cost me big time, but I guess it is all part of a learning curve, so onwards and upwards. Hopefully I will execute my race better the next time I compete,’ said a disappointed Roto afterwards.

Jobodwana went on to race to victory in his 200m race, clocking 20.94, while TuksSport High School matriculant Clarence Munyai finished second in the same race in a time of 20.98.


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