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Cornel inspired by record

National 400-metre hurdles champion Cornel Fredericks will use LJ Van Zyl’s record-breaking run in Pretoria on Friday as inspiration for the rest of the track and field season, writes Mark Etheridge.

Fredericks finished runner-up to Van Zyl as he blitzed to a 47.66sec national record, bettering Llewellyn Herbert’s 11-year-old mark of 47.81sec.

And Fredericks is best placed to describe Van Zyl’s run. ‘I was in lane four and LJ was in lane five so I had a bird’s-eye view,” said Fredericks at Monday’s launch of the Western Cape leg of the Yellow Pages series.

“For the first 200m I still felt right in the race,’ said Stellenbosch’s Fredericks. “But then at the 180m mark he just accelerated and that was that. The bad thing about my run was that with 80m to go I started giving up. I should have run sub 49sec but ended up only running 49.61.”

Still, Fredericks has made peace with his race. “It was a brilliant race by LJ and is good for both South African athletics as well as the 400m hurdles event. I’m concentrating on my own form right now. I’m injury-free after a few knee niggles which is good and want to concentrate on retaining my SA title at national championships in Durban in April.”

Fredericks’ coach Mario Smith admits that Van Zyl is in a league of his own right now. “It certainly wasn’t even on the cards for Cornel to run even sub-48sec this season. I’ll be happy if we can get him down to a 48.5 by the end of the season.”

Van Zyl’s record run means he is the only athlete set to cash in on the sponsor’s R200,000 cheque to anyone breaking a national record. Should no-one else break an SA record he’ll run off with the whole purse.

At this stage Van Zyl looks set to miss the Bellville leg of the series but will be in action at the interprovincial meeting in Germiston in late March.
Commonwealth javelin champion Sunette Viljoen is expected to compete at Bellville after her shock defeat to Justine Robbeson in the Potchefstroom leg of the series.

And Robert Oosthuizen, who threw a World Championship A standard qualifying throw in Potchefstroom will be looking to build on his good early season form. Also back will be Stellenbosch’s long jump world junior champion Luvo Manyonga who easily beat former Olympic silver medallist James Beckford in Pretoria on Friday with a leap of 8.05m.

The events on offer in Bellville for the Yellow Pages series on 10 March are:
Men: 100m; 400m; one mile; 5000m; 400m hurdles; 800m; javelin; shot put; hammer, long jump; pole vault
Women: 100m hurdles; 400m; 100m; 400m hurdles; 5000m; javelin; long jump; pole vault


1 comments
Mohamed Ally
Mohamed Ally

Truly great for South African Athletics. South African 400m hurdling definitely has a future in Cornel Fredericks as he follows in the footsteps of the likes of Llewellyn Herbert and LJ van Zyl. Cornel and LJ are both World Class athletes. Cornel definitely has what it takes to get up there and he has a bright future. All the best to Mario Smith (Cornel Fredericks' Coach) and Hennie Kotze (LJ's coach) as they prepare for 2011 and beyond. Mohamed Ally Manager: Maties Athletics