Johannesburg - Armed with the South African 100m dash
record, Henricho Bruintjies dreams of reaching the final at the IAAF World
Championships in Beijing starting on Saturday.
Bruintjies shares the national mark of 9.97 seconds with
Akani Simbine, who will also be looking to finish among the eight fastest men
in the world.
“I’ve always wanted to be in a final but my goal is to go
there and execute what I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks,”
Bruintjies said ahead of his departure for China on Monday.
Since shaving 0.01 seconds off Simon Magakwe’s record at
a track and field meeting in Switzerland at the beginning of July, Bruintjies
has made some finer adjustments before lining up at his maiden World
“When I got back I went back into the gym, I feel really
strong, and I am feeling positive,” he said.
“Training has been going really well, I’ve had a couple
of good sessions and I believe I am in really good form and mentally I am also
in a good space.”
The 22-year-old Paarl native can take further comfort in
the upwards curve he demonstrated this season and he will be hoping to peak at
the right time.
He started the season with a time of 10.28 in Pretoria in
March before ending his European sojourn breaking through the 10-second barrier
Bruintjies may cherish hopes of running in the final but
he would not deem it a failure should he fall short of his goal as long as he
left it all on the track.
“If I can get close to my best I can make it into the
final, I will never be disappointed if I run close to my personal best or run
faster,” he said.
“You can only give your best and if it is not your day
and your best is not good enough you have to go back to the drawing board and
make sure your best is good enough to get onto the podium.”
Bruintjies was excited to feature at his first major
championships in an individual event after he featured as part of the South
African 4x100m relay team at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
There the quartet of Simon Magakwe, Simbine, Ncinci Titi
and Bruintjies posted a new South African record time of 38.35.
“It was a good thing to go and feel and see what the
atmosphere is like but it will be different now lining up against the big
guys,” Bruintjies said.
Bruintjies and Simbine will start their World
Championships campaigns on Saturday in the heats and if everything goes
according to plan they have a date in the semi-final on Sunday.
The times this season suggest the duo will have to break
the South African record to make it into the final.
American sprinter Justin Gatlin is going into the
championships as the top-ranked sprinter with his leading time of 9.74, while
defending champion and world record holder Usain Bolt’s season’s best of 9.87
is the eighth fastest this year.
The joint South African record holders are ranked 14th in the world with their time of 9.97 and should in theory make it into
They should also feature in the 4x100m relay team along
with Anaso Jobodwana, Wayde van Niekerk, Barend Koekemoer and Antonio Alkana.