Cape Town - LJ van Zyl not only today won the 200m hurdles in a
time of 22.10s at the Great City Games in Manchester but he also equalled the
world record set by Andy Turner in 2010.
Van Zyl was afterwards quite modest about his hasty
“I am truly blessed to have run such a fast time.
Actually it was a privilege to have done so.”
It is the second time that the Tuks/hpc-athlete has
won the 200-hurdles in Manchester. In 2013 he won in a time of 20.63s.
Turner is s a retired English track and field athlete
who specialised in the 110 metres hurdles. He won a bronze medal at the 2011
World Championships in Daegu.
“The conditions were far from perfect. It was cold and
rainy but that has sort of become the norm during the GreatCity Games,” Van Zyl
“I decided beforehand that I was going to race hard
right from the start and that is exactly what I have done. I led the race from
the first to the last hurdle sort of setting the challenge to the rest of the
athletes to catch me if they can. Throughout the races I felt in total control
proving that the hard work that I have doing over the last few weeks are
starting to payoff.”
Ray Stewart (USA) was second in 22.85s and Felix
Sanchez (Dominican Republic) was second in 23.08s.
Van Zyl said that he was inspired by Sanchez a two
time Olympic champion (2004 and 2012) presence in the race.
“I really admire Felix for what he has achieved in
international athletics. He has proved that anything is possible through
dedication and hard work and that is what I am striving to do.”
Irma Reyneke (coach) said Van Zyl’s performance is not
a surprise to her.
“I could see during the last training sessions that he
is ready to run fast times. I am really proud for what he has achieved.”
LJ is not the only Van Zyl who impressed today. His
wife, Irvette, who is 21 weeks pregnant finished 9th in a time
of 34.49 in the Spar 10km Ladies Race in Port Elizabeth.
Asked about her husband’s fast exploits she said: “I
am so glad for LJ but actually he has got no option but to run fast times as he
has son on the way that is going to look up to his dad.”
According to Irvette Van Zyl their first born is going
to be a son.
In spite of her pregnancy there is no stopping her.
“I planning to compete in the 12km race in Cape Town
next weekend and then I also would like to do the Spar Race in Durban but I
still need to discuss that with my coach, Lindsey Parry.”