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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'There's a little bit of hope that I'll get to the final' - Marioné Fourie breaks her own SA 100mH Record

Marioné Fourie underlined her status as the best 100m hurdler in the land when she broke her own South African record in the Netherlands last night. Running at the FBK Games in Hengelo, the 22-year-old ran 12.49 to slice six hundredths of a second off her previous mark of 12.55 set almost exactly a year ago. Yesterday's performance is an indicator of Fourie's encouraging form after she claimed the silver medal 12.74 at the CAA African Championships in Cameroon last month.

Speaking to #TheTopRunner, the reigning Athletics South Africa (ASA) female athlete of the year said she knew that good things lay ahead for 2024 after opening her season the way she did."I'm very excited for the season ahead. It's the first time I went under 13 seconds for the season opener so it's exciting," she said after clocking 12.92 in the heats before going on to win a fourth national title at the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships in April.

Marioné Fourie celebrates her silver medal at the 2024 African Championships. Photo Credit: Juan Strydom.

This season alone, the woman who is coached by Juan Strydom has dipped under the magical 13 second mark non less than five times and is also the only South African athlete to have run 12 seconds this year. Moreover she has gotten faster as the season has progressed with her two fastest times coming in the Dutch city of Hengelo just a few hours apart. Fourie began by running 12.60 in the heats before producing the national record in the final hours later. She suggests that an injury earlier in the year, which forced her to start competing later than she usually does may have been a blessing in disguise.

"We found out that I had suffered a tear in my quad. I trained with it, but when February came and it was still sore we went for a sonar and they told me that I had a grade 2 tear in my quad. So I had to do a bit of rehab and I didn't run at all until April. May it is better for the Olympic season so I can run longer and faster. I think it's for the best," she explained.

Fourie on her way to smashing the SA record by almost two tenths of a second in Switzerland in July 2023. She broke her record again in July 2024. Photo Credit: La Chaux-de-Fonds meet.

But perhaps more important than her lightening quick times is the calibre of athlete that she faced in Hengelo. Fourie took third place to finish ahead of World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Nia Ali in a race that was won by defending Olympic Champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn. And after being knocked out in the semi-finals at last year's World Championships in Budapest, the top runner from from Vanderbijlpark in the south of Gauteng, is hopeful that she can all the way at #Paris2024.

"I think it tells me that if I can run 12.5 again it will get me to the final. So there's a little bit of hope that I'll get to the final."

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