Mulaudzi runs PB | SASCOC - SASCOC

Mulaudzi runs PB

By Mark Etheridge

Things get better and better for our newly crowned 800-metre world track champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi!

Running in the Rieti International track and field meeting in Italy on Sunday night, he ran a personal best of 1min 42.86 — but could still only place third behind two of the rising Kenyan stars, David Rudisha and Alfred Yego.

Rudisha, who also won the 800m at the final IAAF Golden League meeting of the season in Brussels, Belgium on Friday night, clocked 1:42:01 on Sunday with Yego just 0.66sec behind him.

The Kenyans are aged 20 and 22 respectively, which makes Mulaudzi look like a veteran at 28. The first three times are the quickest on the globe this year.

Mulaudzi was fifth in Brussels on Friday night when he clocked 1:47.15. Sunday’s personal best beat his previous best, set way back in 2003, by 0.03sec.

Hezekiel Sepeng’s 1:42.69, also set in Brussels, 10 years ago, is still the best by a South African. He was coached by JP van der Merwe at the time and Van der Merwe coaches Mulaudzi now!

ÔÇ£I am so happy for him.┬á He crowned his career with his brilliant win in the World Championships in Berlin and now this,” Van der Merwe told veteran athletics statistician Gert Le Roux after the race.┬á┬á “He is really talented and to achieve these performances at this late stage is something very special. Mbulaeni was in jubilant mood when he phoned me after the race.┬áHe said the two younger opponents were just too fast for him after a first lap of 49.36 sec.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£It was a good thing that he had not run too many races this year,ÔÇØ Van der Merwe told Sapa. ÔÇ£He is now almost certain of a place in the IAAF/VTB World Athletics Final meeting in Greece next weekend whereafter he will also race in China and Korea.ÔÇØ

Two other South Africans were in action in Rieti. Peter van der Westhuizen ran 3:39.87 to place 10th in the 1,500m while 3,000m steeplechase finalist at the recent World Championships, Ruben Ramolefi ran 8:17.41 to place 19th in the flat 3,000m.