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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'It's just an awesome feeling' - Taylon Bieldt sets new SA 100mH record

Taylon Bieldt underlined her status as one of the most talented and versatile sprinters of her generation when she set a new SA 100m hurdles record. The 24-year-old who may be better known to some as 400m hurdler, clocked 12.76 on her way to winning the Campo Scuola meeting in Italy last night to eclipse the previous mark of 12.81 which was set by Rikenette Steenkamp in Switzerland in July 2018.

"I think you remember your PB races until the next PB comes, but I think this is gonna be memorable for a while because running against such talented athletes and being competitive against them is just am awesome feeling," said the woman who is a sports massage therapist by profession as she reflected on her 2022 season with #TheTopRunner and looked ahead to this year.

Bieldt winning the African U20 100m Hurdles title in 2017. Photo Credit: Höerskool Montana.

Although Bieldt has competed over 200m (23.13), 400m (53.02), 800m (2:19.09), 400m hurdles (55.82) and 100m hurdles this season, yesterday's result over the sprint hurdles has confirmed to many what her best event may be. Add to that the University Sports South Africa 100mH title that she won in Mangauang last month in the eye-catching time of 12.91, then her abilities start to become clear. It means that the 2019 All-Africa Games 100mH bronze medalist's decision to continue taking part in a variety of events instead of focussing on the 100m hurdles has baffled some. The Tshwane University of Technology post-graduate student says its all about balancing her running career with work and studies because she is not a full-time professional athlete.

"I don't have a fixed schedule. I kind of work everything around and then I can create appointments when it suits me. The other things just have to fall in line. Hopefully my athletics career can take more of the limelight when I get some sponsorships going and start making some money out of it. I'm really hoping for that. Every performance counts that I run a PB. I'm just trying to get a good performance and then see where that takes me."

Bieldt is also a formiddable 400m hurdler ranked at number 28 on the current world rankings and having taken the silver medal behind Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Zeney van der Walt at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships in April. Photo Credit: ASA Media.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) President James Moloi has sent Bieldt a congratulatory message pointing out that it bodes well for the country's performance at the upcoming world Championships in Hungary, especially when viewed in conjunction with other good showings from the country's top runners over the last two weeks.

"Taylon crowns a super week for South African athletics following on the great and noticeable performances of Akani Simbine and Wayde van Niekerk. Our athletes are inspiring and without taking anything away from her, what Taylon has just done continues the consistency amongst our top athletes over past week. She is on the rise in her build-up towards the Budapest World Championships. We congratulate her, coaches and support staff for a job well done," he said.

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