Johannesburg - South African women’s 400m hurdler Wenda Nel believes she will continue to edge closer to the national record after she ran her personal best time at the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing on Wednesday.
"It is an unbelievable time and I didn’t quite expect it, I hoped for a sub-55 second race," Nel said.
"I couldn’t have asked for better than to run a personal best because that South African record is getting slightly closer."
Nel set a world-leading time at the Bird’s Nest where she got the better of the Tiffany Williams and Olympic silver medallist Lashinda Demus of the United States.
She took 0.45 seconds off her personal best clocking 54.37 seconds finishing 0.85 seconds ahead of Williams.
Williams, who clocked 55.22 seconds, finished ahead of compatriots Demus and Georganna Moline, who both ran the race in a time of 55.86 seconds.
Nel, 26, is making headway towards realising her dream of breaking Myrtle Bothma’s 29-year-old record of 53.74 seconds.
"That (breaking the record) is not all I am going to focus on but take it step by step and for the first time I managed to control the nerves," Tuks-HPC athlete said.
"I hope and believe that I would be able to build on this and that the times will continue to fall."
Running in the middle of the field, Nel looked comfortable throughout the race and felt she finally got her stride and rhythm right.
"After a race you always think that you could have gone faster but does not mean you are not tired," she said.
"Although I ran a good race, I was tired and I did run hard, I felt that everything in my race just worked perfectly."