South African Athletics

Van Zyl sets sights on African Champs

2016-06-17 13:04
athletics, lj van zyl
LJ van Zyl (Getty Images)

Stockholm - Multiple South African 400-metre hurdles champion LJ van Zyl will dismiss the damp disappointment of Stockholm’s Diamond League meeting on Thursday night and look to dazzle in Durban next week (June 22-26).

Van Zyl had taken fourth spot in the one-lap hurdle event in a meeting plagued by technical problems at the start with persistent misty, wet conditions, and athletes were made to wait for an inordinately long time in the starting blocks and America’s Bershawn Jackson eventually ended up being disqualified in lane eight.

When the race finally got up up and running, Diamond League series leader Michael Tinsley went off like a rocket only to pull out before the home straight.

Olympic bronze medallist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico went on to win in what could at best be described as a damp squib of a race in 49.43 seconds.

America’s Kerron Clement was second in 49.87 with Polish athlete Patryk Dobek third in 49.89. Just three athletes dipped under 50 seconds and Van Zyl was fourth in 50.21.

According to SASCOC, the only South African lining up, van Zyl was not happy afterwards.

"Yes, the start was really a disaster," he told Road to Rio 2016. "I also had a very bad last hurdle and I just didn’t have me best race tonight. Now I’m looking forward to African Championships in Durban next week. I’m landing back in SA on Saturday evening and leave for Durban the next day."

Van Zyl’s coach, Irma Reyneke said, "A lot of thing contribute to whether you have a good race or a slightly less than good race.

"Not one athlete really got off to a good start after the problems in that area. It’s not good to have to sit so long in the blocks. Everyone struggled with their rhythm after that," she explained to Road to Rio 2016.

"And because the rhythm was disturbed it meant that he really stretched into the last hurdle and the you lose all your forward momentum and your speed drops dramatically." added Reyneke.


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