THORISO PHASHA

Road to Rio: In July 2015 Henricho Bruintjies became the third South African in history to run sub 10 seconds in the 100 m following previous feats by Simon Makgakwe and fellow Tuks athlete Akani Simbine. Bruintjies smashed Makgakwe’s record with a time of 9.97 s at the Switzerland Resisprint International meeting. This was a record breaking week for South Africa in the 100 m sprint as Simbine had run a 9.99 s a few days prior to the 9.97 s by Bruintjies.

Bruintjies started athletics in primary school and went on to become Under-23 100 m national champion in 2013 with a time of 10.44 s. Bruintjies further competed in the National Senior Championships later that year in the 100 m to claim second place behind former National Champion and now banned Simon Makgakwe. He was part of the South African 4×100 m relay team that finished seventh at the 2013 Summer Universiade tournament. Bruintjies continued his ascent as he marked his 2014 season with a new personal best of 10.17 s in the 100 m. He was also part of the record-breaking South African team that competed in the 4×100 m relay event at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It was a race in which he ran the opening leg to set up the team for a national record time of 38.35 s.

Latest PB’s and goals: A sensational moment for the athlete was at this year’s ASA Senior Championships when he won the 100 m final at the Coetzenberg stadium in Stellenbosch. It was a race in which he caused a major upset by beating compatriot and training partner Akani Simbine in a time of 10.17 s. He also made headlines earlier in May when he ran a time of 9.89 s in the 100 m at the Gavardo meeting in Italy. This was a new national record as he became the first South African to run the 100 m in under 9.90 s. The time was not upheld according to athletic standards as the wind-speed was measured at 4.4 m/s, which was well above the acceptable limit of 2.0 m/s. Bruintjies later produced an Olympic qualifying time of 10.11 s at the Josef Odlozil Memorial Meeting in the Czech Republic in June shortly after his Italy performance. Race days: Bruintjies will be sprinting in the 100 m heats on Saturday 13 August with the semi-finals and final scheduled to take place on Sunday 14 August.

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