LJ, Cornel's 1-2 | SASCOC - SASCOC

LJ, Cornel’s 1-2

South African record holder LJ van Zyl led countryman Cornel Fredericks to a one-two in the men’s 400-metre hurdles race at the opening IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha, Qatar on Friday.

Sapa reports that Robert Oosthuizen also produced a fine performance to finish second in the men’s javelin throw event.

Van Zyl, who set a new national best of 47.66sec in Pretoria in February, narrowly led Fredericks and Bershawn Jackson of the US off the top bend, but sprinted clear over the final hurdle to win in 48.11 seconds.

His winning time bettered the meeting record set by Samuel Matete of Zambia in 1999.

Fredericks, 21, crossed the line in second place in 48.43, holding off Jackson, a former world champion, by 0.01 seconds.

Oosthuizen, who missed most of last season with a groin injury, produced his best effort in three years, throwing 84.38m with his final heave.

Petr Frydrych of the Czech Republic won with a second round effort of 85.32m and Finnish former world champion Tero Pitkamaki placed third with a best of 83.91m.

Oosthuizen, the world junior champion in 2006, boasts two of the best eight throws in the world this year.

Van Zyl and Fredericks, meanwhile, share six of the top seven times in the world this year between them.

Hennie Kotze, Van Zyl’s coach, said he was pleased that his charge had the race under control and finished strong.

“He ran well; there was definitely something left in the tank should he have come under pressure,” Kotze said.

Van Zyl will compete again at the third Diamond League meeting in Rome on May 26 before he lines up at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava five days later.