Former national 100m record-holder Henricho Bruintjies bounced back with his best run in two years on Tuesday night as he clocked 10.06 seconds to finish second at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.
Bruintjies hadn’t been that fast since his 9.97 seconds in Switzerland in July 2015 to take ownership of the South African record. His feat in Turku on Tuesday night matched his previous fastest time from Prague a month before his South African run, with both 10.06 efforts coming with a 1.5m/s tail wind.
Bruintjies’s 9.97 South African record was equalled a few days later by Akani Simbine while winning the 2015 World Student Games title‚ but since then‚ the two sprinters have travelled vastly different roads.
Simbine has dipped below 10 seconds 11 times since then‚ taking his career tally to 13. He has lowered the South African record to 9.89‚ finished fifth at the Rio Olympics and scored a maiden Diamond League victory earlier this season.
During that time, Bruintjies hadn’t been below 10.1 until Tuesday night. His 10.06 places him the fourth-fastest South African this year‚ behind Simbine (9.92)‚ Thando Roto (9.95) and Wayde van Niekerk (10.04).
The US and Jamaica are the only other nations with four faster sprinters on the world rankings so far.
Bruintjies’s run on Tuesday night saw him leapfrog Emile Erasmus‚ who ended third in the same race in 10.13. Erasmus set his 10.08 personal best in Pretoria recently. In the heats in Turku, Bruintjies ran a 10.16 and Erasmus a 10.21. The pair were beaten in the final by Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev who shaved 0.04 off his personal best as he clocked 10.02.
Also competing in Turku was Antonio Alkana, who ended third in the 110m hurdles‚ clocking 13.35 after posting the fastest time of the heats‚ 13.38.
Olympic silver medallist Sunette Viljoen was third in the women’s javelin with an effort of 61.54m‚ behind Tatsiana Khaladovich of Belarus (65.03) and Australian Kelsey-Lee Roberts (64.06).