Pretoria – South Africa’s leading women’s and
men’s 400m hurdlers Wenda Nel and LJ van Zyl proved they were capable of
challenging the best in the world at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on
The duo claimed silver medals along with
South African 200m record-holder Anaso Jobodwana where they all beat some of the
world’s top athletes for podium spots.
Van Zyl finished his race with a flourish
despite being drawn in lane eight to cross the line behind United States’
Jackson clocked 48.71s with Van Zyl posting
his second sub-49 race of the season with a time of 48.92s with Denis
Kudryavtsev of Russia bagging bronze in 49.01s.
"I think it went well, I was drawn in lane 8,
I’m not complaining, and I am just grateful to still be competing here," Van
"I had a good finish with 80 metres going
which I though was good if I have to say so myself. Irma sent me a breakdown of
how I can still improve.
"The wind was a bit of a hassle but it is not
about the times at the moment and it is just about how I was feeling."
This was Van Zyl’s second Diamond League
silver medal after his 48.78s run at the New York meet last month.
The Tuks-HPC athlete said while the wind was
not conducive to running fast times, he was grateful to still be racing at this
"What excites is the guys that were in my
field that I beat, it was important to get a psychological edge to show that I
am also in the mix," he said.
Nel again demonstrated she was capable of
challenging the best in the world straining herself in the final straight.
Sara Petersen of Denmark finished in first
place with a time of 55.01s with Nel clocking 55.78s for the silver while Lauren Wells of
Australia took third in 56.26s.
"I am satisfied, I was hoping for a faster
time but it was a little bit windy, it is not an excuse but I either went out
too slow or too hard against the wind which made me tired towards the end," Nel
"I believe the next one will go better, it is just part of 400m
hurdles where one is good, and the next one not so much."
Jobodwana stepped up a gear coming out of the
bend in the half-lap sprint to cross the line in second place behind Britain’s
Zharnel Hughes with a time of 20.21 seconds.
Hughes clocked a personal best time of 20.13s
with Isiah Young of the United States finishing in third place with 20.24s.
The Olympic finalist was disappointed with
his race and his start in particular restricting him from running a faster
"My objective for this season is to go sub-20
and work myself into a medal contender for the World Championships in Beijing,"
"It was a very competitive field today and
that´s what I like, I can assess where I am against the best athletes in the
"I had a terrible bend but a rather good
finish…I need to go back to the drawing board and work on my start."