Sprint hurdler Rikenette Steenkamp made a well deserved breakthrough on Monday night, eclipsing the long-standing national record in the women’s 100m race over the barriers.
The 25-year-old athlete bolted over the line in 12.91 seconds at a European Permit meeting in Prague.
Though she wasn’t able to challenge Belarusian winner Elvira Herman, who stormed to victory in 12.69, Steenkamp clipped 0.03 off the 20-year-old SA 100m hurdles mark of 12.94 held by Corien Botha.
After improving her personal best every year since her first senior campaign in 2012, Steenkamp was rewarded for her steady progress last season when she became the second South African woman to smash through the 13-second barrier, clocking 12.99 in Ostrava.
Going one step further in Prague, she entered new territory in her specialist discipline, displaying her intent as she aimed to close the gap on the international elite.
Among other highlights at the meeting, with a large group of South African athletes participating in Prague, Antonio Alkana finished second in the men’s 110m hurdles race in 13.42 and Zarck Visser took the runner-up spot in the men’s long jump with a leap of 8.00m.