Many athletes would describe a year in which they won an African and South African title as a success, but not Taylon Bieldt as she knows she has not performed at her best.
That is why she will be highly motivated tomorrow when she represents Tuks at the Varsity Athletics in the 100m-hurdles at Tuks. The fact that it is Tuks Athletics centenary year means there is so much more at stake as the “Striped-Up Team” wants to defend their Varsity title.
“The 100m-hurdles is going to be an exciting race especially since Maryke Brits (Kovsies) is also racing. Maryke is an awesome competitor. I will have to be on top of my game if I want to win.”
Bieldt was disappointed on how 2017 played out for her on the track.
“By the time I ran my last race I was so frustrated as I started off running 13.80s in the 100m-hurdles and finished off still running the same time,” said Bieldt who won the African and South African junior titles.
In hindsight, Bieldt sees 2017 as the watershed year of her hurdling career.
“The fact that I am still racing proves that I am genuinely committed to what I am doing. The easy option would have been to quit because of how I felt at the end of last year. The cause of my frustration originated because I am a control freak. Last year as a first-year student and athlete I have learned the hard way that there is only so much you can control. Worrying about the rest serve no purpose. You just end up making yourself unhappy.
“I was on a high in 2016 after setting a new South African junior record running a time of 13.35s in the semi-finals of the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. I finished 7th in the final which meant I was the 7th fastest junior athlete in the world. But unfortunately, then I allowed myself to get sidetracked. From now on I am only focused on what I can control.
“The other conclusion I am come to is that success and courage go hand in hand. If I line up with the courage to race, I will never be scared. Courage also leads to confidence,” said Bieldt.
The goal the Tuks-athlete has set herself is to try and get as close as possible to running times close to 13 seconds.
“If I can do that, I will be able to compete in Europe which will be next big challenge in my athletics career.”
Tomorrow her Varsity Athletics career begins at 17:00.
By Wilhelm de Swardt