Heusden Zolder - Oscar Pistorius will be one of five South African athletes competing at the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on Saturday.
Pistorius, who is the first disabled athlete to compete in the Paralympics, as well as the able-bodied Olympics after being selected by Sascoc for the team earlier this week, will line up in the men’s 400m. The 25 year-old from Gauteng North ran 45.20sec at the Gauteng North Championships. His second fastest time of the season was recorded in Porto Novo in Benin at the Africa Senior Championships on 28 June. He crossed the line in 45.52sec for a second place finish.
Jacques de Swardt will also line up in the race after having competed in the men’s 300m at the Meeting International d’Athleticsme de la Province de Liege in Belgium last night (5 July). He ran a personal best of 33.14sec, finishing fourth. The 19 year old Tukkie ran his best 400m time this season in Rhede, Germany on 7 June, clocking 46.06sec. “There are big names in my race, I am the little one running against my heroes,” said De Swardt. Some of the familiar athletes include Mitchell Manteo (USA), a 4x400m World Indoor Champion with a personal best this season of 44.96sec, Australia’s 400m Olympic competitor and 4x400m Olympic finalist Joel Milburn, amongst others.
Thuso Mpuang who ran a personal best of 20.44sec in the men’s 200m at the SA Open Championships in Pretoria on 5 May, has since struggled with his form in Europe. He also competed at the Africa Senior Championships in Benin where he finished eighth in 21.39sec. He will line up in the 200m event in Belgium.
Other South Africans competing are Hannes Naude in the men’s 800m and Rikenette Steenkamp in the women’s 100m hurdles.
The IAAF Grand Prix Eaa Premium meeting Heusden Zolder will be broadcast on Supersport 6 from 19:00-21:30 on Saturday 7 July.