A triple hurdles champion in 2010, young Rikenette Steenkamp is involved in a race against time to defend her title at the Yellow Pages South African senior track and field championships in Durban on 9-10 April.
The 18-year-old Pretoria youngster won SA titles in the 100m hurdles at the national senior, junior and schools championships and with a best of 13.61 seconds is surely earmarked for great things, writes Mark Etheridge.
Earlier this season she won the 100m hurdles in the Yellow Pages Series second meeting at Bellville, Cape Town clocking 13.90 seconds to beat Claudia Viljoen.
But for now she’s having to deal with an injury setback, having tweaked her hamstring and having to pull up short at last weekend’s inter-provincial athletics championships at Germiston. Making the disappointment all the harder to bear was the fact that she had to watch a flying Viljoen disappear into the distance and end with a fine 13.58sec finish.
Steenkamp said on Tuesday that she was staying positive and thinking further down the line. “Until now I’ve never had a hamstring problem but the sonar says it’s a Grade Two tear. But I’m staying positive… I had an unbelievable half of a race,” she joked.
What has helped, in her opinion, is the quick treatment she had. “I think we’ve handled it well so far with ice etc and I think we bought ourselves some valued time.”
One things for sure though and that is that she won’t be running at this weekend’s SA Junior and Youth Championships in Germiston. “I definitely won’t be running but I’ll be there to watch and support the action, although it’s going to be very hard for me to just sit and watch the hurdles event. But that will make me even hungrier for my next race and I must keep thinking of the bigger picture. I won’t run anything until I’m 100% right again.”