It’s going to be interesting to see just how fast Team South Africa’s 2018 Commonwealth Games athlete Carina Horn can be over 100 metres once she starts training ‘seriously’.
The South African champion and record holder revealed this week that so far she has been ‘loafing’ around, just doing enough to get by on the track.
The hard work will only start after she has raced the 100m at Thursday’s Liquid Telecom Athletics Grand Prix meeting in Paarl. Then it will be business as usual as she will be clocking in at her ‘office’ at the track for up to seven hours a day.
Horn said she and her coach, Rayner Schopf, purposely decided to take things easier as it’s a long season and the aim is to be able to run fast times as far down the road as September.
In spite of not putting in the hard work, the Tuks athlete is confident of giving a good account of herself in Paarl.
‘There is another good race left in my legs. I must just make sure I get to execute my race to perfection,’ said Horn who raced to a time of 11.03sec in the semi-finals during the national championships in Pretoria and clocked 11.08 in the final.
Another highlight this season was improving the South African indoor record over 60m in France to 7.09.
It’s widely accepted that Anaso Jobodwana winning a bronze medal in the 200m at the 2015 World Championships and Simon Magakwe being the first local sprinter to dip under 10 seconds in the 100m in 2014 were responsible for starting the men’s sprint revolution in South African athletics. Those two proved that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.
Horn — always reluctant to brag about her achievements — hopes that she might also inspire the youngsters with her speedy exploits.
According to her, the times in the women’s sprint races are already showing signs of improvement. She is especially excited about how Tebogo Mamatu (Tuks) seems to be getting faster each time she races.
Before the national championships, Mamatu’s best time was 11.34. In the heats, she ran 11.30 and her time in the final was 11.27 which places Mamatu amongst the top 10 on the South African all-time list.
The 100m final at the weekend’s national championships is possibly one of the fastest ever. Horn clocked 11.08 and Mamatu 11.27 while Cassidy Williamson (KZN) was third in 11.31. Last year’s top three times in the final were 11.41, 11.44 and 11.56 respectively.
Schopf is confident that the Tuks sprinter will dip under 11 seconds this season and as far as he’s concerned, it’s just a matter of time.
‘If you’d asked me a few years backs whether I thought sub-11 seconds was possible I would have thought it was crazy. But over the last few years, we have been getting there one step at a time. The secret is never to let go of the hunger to be better the next time you race.
‘After each of Carina’s breakthrough races we might celebrate having a few drinks, but then we ask each other what is next? What was good today is never going to be good enough for tomorrow.’
Picture of Horn in SA Championships action courtesy of Reg Caldecott