Peter's dream race in Oslo | SASCOC - SASCOC

Peter’s dream race in Oslo

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s Peter van der Westhuizen ran his way to a personal best of 3min 54.90sec in the Dream Mile event at Friday night’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo, Norway.

Running in the final track meeting of the evening, United States based Van der Westhuizen placed eighth, behind Asbel Kiprop of Kenya. Kiprop clocked 3:49.56 and Van der Westhuizen 3:54.90.

Van der Westhuizen had been hoping to go close to Johan Fourie’s national record of 3:50.82 but some strange pace-making made things slightly haphazard.

The first lap was meant to be run in around 55sec but pacemakers hit the front like there was no tomorrow and covered the first 400 metres in 52.89sec.

Olympic legend Lord Sebastian Coe, in the crowd on Friday, must have been looking on in bewilderment at the antics.

Before last night Van der Westhuizen’s best had been the 3:56.26 he ran in Eugene, Oregon last year.

Van der Westhuizen’s fellow South African in action on Friday, LJ van Zyl, had a disappointing 400m hurdles race.

Coach Hennie Kotze had been confident that the reigning Commonwealth champion, who went off in lane two, could dip under 49sec but he had to be content with fifth place in 49.50 after tiring in the final quarter. Big Kerron Clement of the US won in 48.12.

“It wasn’t great,” said Kotze afterwards. “He looked around after the eighth hurdle and his stride went off. But there are absolutely no excuses. I know he’s done everything right in training so we can make amends. He’ll run a race in Poland on Sunday and then come home where we can work on putting things right.”

In other events on Friday, Jamaican Asafa Powell blitzed to a 9.72 win the 100m dash but an illegal headwind meant that it won’t mean for much in the record books.

Kenyan youngster David Rudisha powered to a world-leading 1:42.06 win in the 800m after a first lap of 48.97sec.

Rudisha’s time eclipsed Coe’s meeting record of 1:42.33 run 31 years ago.