Carina Horn (Tuks/HPC) and Henricho Bruintjies seem to get faster the more they compete indoors. At the Istaf Indoor Meeting in Berlin on Saturday night both of them again ran personal best times in the 60 metres sprint. Bruintjies finished second in a time of 6.62 seconds, which is 0.02 seconds faster than the time he ran last Saturday in Karlsruhe.
Kim Collins (Saint Kitts and Nevis), a former 100m world champion, won in 6.53s and Churandy Martina (Netherlands) was third in 6.66s. Horn finished fifth in the women’s final in a time of 7.18s, just 0.03 seconds slower than Wendy Hartman’s South African record set in 1999 in Maebashi. As expected Dafne Schippers (Netherlands), gold medallist in the 200m and silver medallist in the 100m at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, won the 60m sprint in 7.00s.
Italy’s Josee-Marie Ta Lou was second in 7.06s and Asha Philip (Britain) third in 7.16s. Nerves certainly got to the sprinters. There were two false starts in the men’s final which led to James Dasaolu (Britain) and Julian Reus (Germany) being disqualified.
In spite of improving his time by 0.04s in three races Bruintjies is not satisfied. The current South African 100 metre record co-holder (9.97s) says: ‘I am happy that I was able to improve my personal best time again, but I will not be quite honest if I say I am satisfied. I am not one for mediocrity. I know I am capable of running faster times so there is still hard work to be done.’ Hennie Kriel (Tuks/HPC coach), agrees, saying: ‘Henricho has managed to start every time he raced. The thing we need to work on before the Indoor World Championships in Portland, USA (17-20 March) is to get him to reach his top speed earlier and maintain it longer. I have no doubt that he can qualify for the final at the championships but to do that he will have to run a time faster than 6.60s. But, as I have said right from the beginning, the main reason why Henricho decided to compete indoors was to gain more international experience in the build-up to the Olympic Games in Rio.’
Horn, who arrived in Berlin with a slight cold, will be the first to admit that she did not expect to run another personal best time. Horn says: ‘I will be honest. After my 60 metres heat, in which I finished 4th in 7.23s, I was mentally not in a good space. I really did not have a good run. My problems started when I got off to a bad start. To top it all, I slightly injured my knee when I ran into the ‘rubber’ wall which helps us to stop after the race. I lay on the ground for a few minutes. just feeling sorry for myself. I even contemplated coming back to South Africa because I felt my preparation for competing indoors was not going well. Just for the sake of interest I went to look who qualified for the final and was pleasantly surprised to see my name on the list. I am pleased that I was, at long last, able to break through the 7.20s barrier in the final. I know I am capable of running still faster times. It is just a matter of making sure to do all the small things correctly.’ Horn’s last indoor race will be in Glasgow next Saturday.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott