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Cronje streets ahead in Bloemfontein

By Mark Etheridge

Despite not making the national team for the recent Commonwealth Games, top middle-distance track runner Johan Cronje has not let things get him down.

And the Free Stater, a multiple winner of the national 1500-metre title, still has the competitive urge to win burning inside his chest. That much was evident on Wednesday as he won the annual Grey Street Mile in his hometown of Bloemfontein.

Cronje, 28, has a 3min 54.84sec personal best for the mile but obviously wasn’t going to be running that sort of time after a long, gruelling season.

“It’s my 10-year reunion so I promised them I will run there. Its starting to became a big event nowadays with Sportsman’s Warehouse as the main sponsor. I won the main race in just over 4min with Windy Jonas in second (10s behind).”

Cronje, who was recently seleced for an out-of-competition drug test, says he’s just glad to be free of injury after spending a lengthy period on the sidelines. And from now on he’ll be doing athletics for himself, competing where and when he chooses and letting selectors judge for themselves whether he’s in shape or not.

“I’m starting to enjoy myself again – so I’ll do a couple of local road races – like another 10km tomorrow night. Training is a joy right now. I’m 99% sure that next year will be my best one time wise.”


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