Hasty Horn in a hurry to beat the clock | TeamSA - TeamSA

Hasty Horn in a hurry to beat the clock

By Mark Etheridge

She’s dreamt of this moment since she was a little girl… and on a hot Spanish night this past weekend, Carina Horn put on her big girl sprinting shoes.
For 25 long years Evette de Klerk’s 11.06 second national 100-metre record in Germiston has stood unchallenged. Now Horn has rocketed herself up to the same level with her 11.06 in the heats of the World Challenge meeting in Madrid and stands alongside De Klerk’s time as the fastest ever run by a South African. Excepting that Horn motored to her mark without the benefit of the Highveld’s altitude.
A day after the event (and an evening which went by largely without sleep due to the sheer excitement) and 26-year-old Horn is still pretty much hallucinating.
‘Yes, it still feels completely unreal,’ she told Road to Rio 2016 as she enjoyed a welcome rest day back at her base in Austria on Monday. ‘Completely amazing.
‘I’ve dreamt of this moment for ages, although especially from about 2008 or so. I used to put up numbers of the times I wanted to run and then about two or three years ago my mom said, no, we have to put new numbers up now because those are outdated.’
Born in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal but having lived in the Gauteng area since she was 13 years old, Horn says her preparation wasn’t entirely ideal ahead of the record-equalling race. ‘It’s been a case of racing and travelling, and more racing and travelling. We got one day to train properly and we used that to focus on specific things.’
One those areas was the reaction times out of the blocks and Horn says they worked on trigger points to improve this aspect.
Whatever they did worked like a bomb. ‘My reaction time to the starter’s gun used to be around 0.25sec and in my two races on Saturday it was 0.13 and 0.14 respectively, my best reaction times ever.’
Taking us through her heat where she ran the 11.06 and she says everything just worked out perfectly in the heats. ‘It was great weather, very warm but with a light wind.
‘I went hard out of the blocks and really wanted to make the first 20m mine, which helped. After that I stayed relaxed, didn’t fight and instead concentrated on staying relaxed and watching my stability control etc and it all worked out perfectly.’
She won her heat and went on to the final later in the day, which didn’t quite work out in her favour.
‘After the heat I spent most of the time lying down. I could barely walk because of cramps in my calves. For the final I went to the bathroom, straight into the call-room and on to the track. My muscles were still all jittery with cramp. It was still excellent weather but my body just couldn’t do it again.’
She ended up third in the final with an 11.10 third place behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, a girl she beat in her heat, winning in 10.90 from US sprinter Barbara Pierce (11.01.)
Horn’s 11.06 is joint 26th fastest in the world this year behind Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s 10.74 but Horn isn’t worrying about rankings right now.
‘I was a bit disappointed in the final but overall am still happy with everything, it’s all working out now and am happy where I am right now.’

Picture: Reg Caldecott