Jordan takes hurdles in his stride


Jordan Johnson wasn’t really planning on racing the Open 400m hurdles at the interhigh last Saturday too seriously.

“I’ve been running the 400 at the meetings all season, but I regard the 110m as my main race, so I’ve been treating the 400 as a training run, really,” he says.

So, that’s how he set out on it last Saturday, but found he was feeling really good, and he gave it a full go. “It went really well, and I knew it was a good time, but I was surprised, and happy, to find I had broken the record of Tyrone Green, my old training mate,” he says.

Johnson and Green trained together at Jeppe under Tannie Elise. The school’s legendary hurdles coach, who was also responsible for the development of the phenomenal Mpho Tladi.

“It was she who taught me how to hurdle when I came to Jeppe and she has been my coach ever since, at school and at the Germiston Callies Club,” Jordan says. “She is so dedicated and enthusiastic that we all love running. She’s strict, but she makes training fun too. She is definitely the reason why I’m doing well.”

And he did well in his main event – the under-17 110m hurdles – at the interhigh too. He won the race, as he had done all season, but there’s no talk of records there – those times belong to Mpho Tladi, he explains, and they will take some beating.

Jordan is a boarder at Sable House, and he wouldn’t have it any other way, he says. “I’ve made good friends there, and we push each other, in sport and in our school work, it’s been a great four years so far.”

Jordan’s great pace makes him, not surprisingly, a very useful hockey player too. He was in the first team this year, was awarded half colours, and made the Southern Gauteng under-17A team.

“I love hockey too,” he says. “Team sports are special at Jeppe, you spend so much time with your friends and feel part of the family.”

And this week the Jeppe family salutes one of our finest athletes.