Emile Erasmus is on the cusp of breaking through the 10-second barrier and it could come at any time and without warning.
Who knows? It might even happen this weekend when he lines up in the 100 metres at the Gauteng North Championships in Pretoria over the weekend.
The Tuks track has a reputation to be ‘hot’ and given Erasmus’ incremental improvements over the last two years, he might just become the fifth South African to dip below the magical mark.
The Tuks sprinter came painstakingly close to achieving the feat at the La Chaux-de-Fonds Meeting in Switzerland where he clocked 10.01 seconds.
Like Tuks, that track has a reputation for boosting athletes’ personal best times and Erasmus will be looking to prove that his time was not a once off.
“I know I am capable of dipping under 10 seconds. Whether it is going to be on Saturday remains to be seen. I have been clocking some fast times during training, but that does not mean anything as it is one thing to train and something else to race.
“The biggest mistake I can make is to be obsessed with running sub ten seconds. Through experience, I have learned that if you settle in the starting blocks thinking about running a specific time it guaranteed that you would end up running one of your slowest races as you tend to tense up.”Emile Erasmus
Erasmus had his breakthrough in 2018 clocking 10.01 and 10.02 in La Chaux-de-Fonds while winning silver with the South African 4x100m relay team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Erasmus has been making promising strides over the years improving from a 10.23 in 2014 to the personal best of 10.01 he set last year.
In his opening meeting of the season, Erasmus will be lining up in the half-lap sprint as well as he looks to improve his top-end speed.
“My start is not too bad. Apart from the first two or so steps, I am also quite strong in the driving phase being able to stay with the best.
“Unfortunately, I tend to lose speed towards the end of the race. My coach realised that we could rectify this by doing longer high-intensity workouts. It is why I am going to compete more often in 200m races. Doing so will help to improve my endurance.”