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SA’s Steenkamp is out but not down!

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By Mark Etheridge

A rollercoaster week of emotion for Rikenette Steenkamp has ended on a definite downer… not that she’s letting it get her down!

She’s been forced to follow Olympic javelin silver medallist Sunette Viljoen’s decision to withdraw from the South African team for the  IAAF World Athletics Championships, starting in London this week.

Steenkamp received a late invite from the IAAF to be part of the World Championships team, but was left hamstrung… quite literally and unable to join the team.

The 24-year-old Tukkies student, a national 100-metre hurdles champion at every age-group level, told Team SA: ‘’I was busy training, actually preparing for World Student Championships, not worlds.

‘My second last run I felt it pull slightly. It’s not a severe injury, but full recovery is very important to me, so I had to withdraw.

‘The timing is just heart-breaking as I’ve had a great season, actually it’s a miracle season. Since January to to now, I’ve performed beyond my expectation so I’m still smiling,’ said the bubbly blonde.

‘I haven’t decided yet on World Students [in Taiwan]. I’ll give it a few days.’

Steenkamp is refusing to let her bad news get to her and remains steadfastly behind her fellow South Africans in London.

’I won’t fight what happened. and understand that everything happening is happening for a purpose. I’ll give my body the rest it needs. I will recover with grace, wisdom and patience. I will support Team SA from this side. To the many athletes that work hard and experience similar disappointments, my heart goes out to you.

‘Look up, stay in faith and know that everything is beautiful in its time. To my team and family, together we conquer. This hurdle we will also overcome.’

Picture of Steenkamp in SA Championships action courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA


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