Johannesburg - Reigning Africa 400m hurdles champion LJ van Zyl will be looking to defend his title and win his fourth consecutive title at the Africa Senior Championships in Benin next week.
“Achieving this will be very special as no other athlete has ever done it. It won’t be easy, but I am going to try my best,” said van Zyl. He won in 2006 (Bambous, Mauritius), 2008 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) and 2010 (Nairobi, Kenya).
Amaechi Morton (NGR) is the fastest African athlete this season with a 48.79sec clocking in Des Moines in the USA on 8 June, currently ranked sixth in the world.
Next in line is Cornel Fredericks who have been exempted from competing at the Africa Senior Championships as he is currently overseas busy with preparations for London.
Mozambican athlete Kurt Couto and Mamadou Kasse Hanne from Senegal have faster times than Van Zyl this season, Couto’s best 49.02sec in Praha on 11 June with Hanne’s best of 49.04sec clocked in Angers on 17 June.
“I haven’t run a good time yet this year and the competition in Africa will be strong.” The SA Record holder tells that this will be ideal as he wants to run a good time in Benin.
The 26 year-old from Pretoria struggled with a knee irritation and his best time this season was clocked at 49.42sec on 5 April where he reached the Olympic qualifying time of 49.50sec.
According to Van Zyl Africa will be the ideal platform to test whether he is on the right track ahead of the Olympic Games in London.
The CAA Africa Senior Championships will take place in Porto Novo, Benin from 27 June to 1 July with the team departing on Sunday, 24 June.