- Rikenette Steenkamp broke the South African women's 100m hurdles record in July
- However, it wasn't easy because she had to spend two years away from the sport
- Her break was caused by a crippling injury that needed a long recovery period
A determined Rikenette Steenkamp overcame a crippling injury to break the South African women's 100m hurdles record in July this year.
The record had stood for 20 years after Corien Botha set it in 1998, according to Beautiful News. Rikenette broke it during a race in Prague, Czech Republic.
Even more remarkably, she improved the national record to 12.81 seconds a few weeks later. However, her road to the top wasn't easy.
After she experienced constant pain in her leg in 2016, tests revealed that she had an extra bone in her ankle.
Rikenette therefore had surgery to remove it and had to take a break from the sport for two years to recover, Briefly.co.za learned. In an interview, she said:
The operation crippled me, emotionally and physically. It felt like I was left behind by the world and forgotten.
The four-time national champion had to watch from the sidelines as her peers and competitors grew from strength to strength while she learned how to walk again.
However, Rikenette, who is also a former African champion, never gave up:
I said to myself, ‘You will come back. You will run again.' Challenges don't prevent you from your calling - they just prepare you for it. Nothing can keep you from your destiny.
True to her passion and determination, she returned to the sport in 2017 stronger and more competitive than ever before.
Watch a satirical guide on how to be an African president in the video below from our Briefly - South Africa YouTube channel.
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