Three national records fell on an action-packed opening day of the ASA Senior Championships, with sprinters keeping fans on the edge of their seats at Tuks Stadium, Tshwane on Thursday.
In the 100m Women semi-finals, Carina Horn smashed the national mark of 11.06 which had stood since 1990, storming across the line in 11.03*.
Horn had jointly held the previous record with retired speedster Evette de Klerk. She is now set to compete in the 100m final on Friday night.
“I’ve been waiting for a few years to race on this track. It’s my home track, so I’m excited and glad I could do it here,” Horn said. “If the weather is fine, hopefully I’ll go sub-11 (in the final) because that’s my goal.”
In the 100m Men semi-finals, while Roscoe Engel clocked the fastest time of 10.06, Thando Dlodlo stole the spotlight by crossing the line in 10.11* in second place.
Dlodlo took 0.01 off the SA Junior 100m record which was previously held by Gift Leotlela.
“I’m satisfied because I got what we came here for,” Dlodlo said. “Hopefully I can break the record in the 200m as well, but I’m happy.”
Dlodlo went on to anchor the SA Junior Invitation Team in the 4x100m Relay final, taking first place in 39.46* to break the national U-20 record of 39.59.
In other disciplines, Stephen Mokoka won an exciting battle in the 10 000m Men race, breaking away from Gladwin Mzazi with a thunderous kick to cross the line in 29:34.56, while Dominique Scott-Efurd produced a kick of her own to win a tactical 5 000m Women race in 16:55.05.
Among the highlights in field events, discus throw giant Victor Hogan won gold with a heave of 61.42m, and Lynique Beneke won her sixth national Long Jump title with a leap of 6.22m.
“We had predicted such performances to happen and we are overjoyed that this happened on the first day as athletes battle to impress for honours,” said Aleck Skhosana, President of Athletics South Africa.
“It’s a wonderful way to start the championships and congratulate to the record smashers and all new national champions.”
* All records are subject to standard ratification processes