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Juan, Peter target SA’s

Two of the country’s top middle distance aces will only be seen in local action at the Yellow Pages national track and field championships in March, writes Mark Etheridge.

Beijing Olympics 1500-metre finalist Juan van Deventer has been hard at work training in Gauteng but mainly on the road.

“Training’s been going really well,” Van Deventer said on Monday. “I’ll run my first race at SA champs so will not be running any track races before that.

“I’ve run seven road races this year but all very low key and not at 100% — I’m using them as tempo runs. We’ll decide if I’ll run any other track races in SA, at SA champs. It will all depend on how I perform there.”

And United States based Peter van der Westhuizen will only be seen at the nationals. “I’m in a base phase of training right now and won’t really race anything significant until SA’s. Unfortunately I won’t be able to run any of the Yellow Pages because I’m in the States at the moment.

As for Van der Westhuizen’s goals. “My main goal is to try and get that SA 1500m record [Johan Landsman’s 3:33.56 set 18 years ago] and try and make the final at worlds [in Daegu, South Korea]. After getting the A Standard qualifier that is. The standard for the 1500m has been lowered to 3:35.00 so I hope to get that out of the way in Europe.”

Van der Westhuizen’s best 1500m is the 3:35.33 he ran in New York in 2009. Van Deventer’s quickest is 3:34.30, run in the same race.


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