Johannesburg - LJ van Zyl completed his hat-trick last night when he clocked a time of 48.88 seconds in the 400-hurdles at the Diamond League Meeting in Monaco.
According to supersport.com, it was the third time that Van Zyl managed to break through the 49 seconds barrier in the long hurdles at a Diamond League Meeting. In New York his time was 48.78 seconds and last week in Lausanne it was 48.92 seconds. He was second in both these races, but last night he finished 5th.
With a little bit of luck he could again have finished in the top three. The Tuks/HPC athlete was racing shoulder to shoulder with the leaders up to the 10th hurdle. Unfortunately his approach to the last hurdle was not quite right and he had to stretch and jump to clear the hurdle. This momentary loss of balance was all it took for him to lose contact with the leaders.
Bershawn Jackson (USA) won in 48.23 seconds. Patryk Dobek (Poland) was second in 48.62 seconds and Johnny Dutch (USA) third in 48.67 seconds.
Van Zyl was quite upbeat after the race.
“It is not the result I wanted, but I am glad that I had this slight mishap now and not during the World Championships in Beijing. I still have not run my perfect race. I think a combination of the best of my performances last week in Lausanne and last night in Monaco would make for the perfect race.
“Last night I decided to go out right from the start to see what would happen,” said Van Zyl, who is currently ranked 12th on the IAAF-list.
The Tuks/HPC athlete will be racing at the Diamond League Meeting in London next Saturday (25 July) before returning home.