Q&A with… Rikenette Steenkamp

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Country: South Africa

Profession: Athlete- 100m Hurdles

Career highlights:

  • South African 100mH outdoor national record holder
  • South African 60mH indoor national record holder
  • 2018 African Championships silver medallist

What has been a defining moment in your career?

There have been many highlights and it is very difficult to name just one. But a defining moment in my career was when I won the  National Senior Championships as 17-year-old junior in 2010. That was the moment I knew I want to pursue this dream of being a professional athlete.

What was the first thought that went through your mind when you heard the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed?

I was really disappointed because the Olympics are something you dream about for many years. It is almost like you can’t believe it, that it is postponed. I am very much a picture person. So, I pictured this year very differently to what it has turned out to be, but I can say I have made peace with it. As an athlete you should also get used to adapting to different circumstances, such as injuries. I will use this time to strengthen myself where and how I can. But it was disappointing.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I love eating out and spending money on a great experience at a nice restaurant, a nice glass of wine with a nice meal.

Which superpower would you like to have?

I would really like to be able to fly, that would be so cool.

When under pressure, what do you say to yourself to help you get through it?

I always tell myself that you can use pressure to bring out the best in you. The bigger the moment, the better you going to be. It isn’t always that easy because you are going to stress a little. In those moments I tell myself not to try too hard and overthink, just to be and enjoy it.

What three things you would take with you if you had to be stranded on a desert island for a year?

If I could take people with me, I would take someone close to me like my sister. I would take a tent, a fishing rod and a surfboard.

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