The 100m men’s dash has always been regarded as the highlight of an athletics meeting. It takes a mere 10 seconds (or less) to complete but somehow always seems to be action packed and more often than not, a meeting’s biggest attraction.
It was no different last week at Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch where the first leg of Varsity Athletics 2019 took place. UP-Tuks’ Shaahid Motala won the event in a blistering time of 10.03 ahead of the two NWU sprinters, Chederick van Wyk (10.14) and Theodor Young (10.17).
Van Wyk and Luxolo Adams (Madibaz) had set the tone earlier in the 200m when both crossed the line in an equally fast time of 20.30. It seems like the recently refurbished Coetzenburg surface will be conducive for fast sprint times – especially if one considers the fact that this is very early in the season for these athletes and that the meeting took place at sea-level and not altitude.
Unfortunately, it appears as though Motala will not be able to use the 10.03 as his official personal best as the time recorded was a combination of hand and electronic timing after the electronic timer used earlier in the evening had malfunctioned.
Motala will however be buoyed by the fact that he managed to beat a strong field in a fast time – timing issues notwithstanding. The Tukkies team manager, Danie Cornelius says Motala surprised him.
“Shaahid ran a brilliant race even though he had trouble coming out of the blocks. It’s a pity that he will not be able to use this time as his PB (personal best) but he can still be very happy nonetheless. Chederick and the others were probably more fancied than Shaahid but he still managed to beat them comfortably even though he hurt his hamstring before crossing the line,” Cornelius told Varsity Athletics.
It seems as though the self-same hamstring injury will keep the industrial engineering student out of action at the return leg in Potchefstroom on Friday 15 March. “Unfortunately Shaahid has a grade one tear of his hamstring and will most probably not be participating in Potch,” said Cornelius.
Well, with or without the 21-year-old Motala, the 100m dash will surely be one of the highlights in Potchefstroom next Friday. Blink, and you might miss it…
By Shafiek Mouton @fiekie7 on Twitter