LJ aims to stay on track | SASCOC - SASCOC

LJ aims to stay on track

World No1, LJ Van Zyl heads the South African onslaught in the sixth IAAF Samsung Diamond League Series athletics meeting in New York on Saturday.

Van Zyl is undefeated this year and is clearly the form man with four sub-48sec clockings behind his name.

Van Zyl renews his rivalry with former world champion Bershawn Jackson and Great Britain’s David Greene. Jackson’s best time this year (48.44sec) came in Doha when he finished third behind Van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks. His next race (at the Daegu Colorful Pre-Championships meeting) saw him finish second in 49.14sec.

Greene has raced Van Zyl twice this year, and both times has had to play second fiddle. In Rome at the Golden Gala Diamond League he finished in 48.24sec behind Van Zyl’s 47.91sec. They met again at the Golden Spike meeting on 31 May and again Van Zyl blitzed the field, equalling his SA Record of 47.66sec. Greene crossed the line in 48.47sec.

Sunette Vljoen is in the hunt for Diamond League points and she should be able to bag a few of these in New York. Viljoen has the second best javelin performance of the field in 2011 behind Germany’s Christine Obergfoll.

The two have met twice this season, with the German coming up trumps on both occasions and is likely to repeat that result, based on current form. Viljoen however should have the measure Jarmila Klimasova and┬áRachel Yurkovich. Kara Patterson’s
season’s best is a metre further than that of Viljoen (62.76m ÔÇô 61.72m), but the South African has improved with every competition and should provide Patterson with a good competition.

Mbualeni Mulaudzi lines up in the men’s 800m against a strong field. Sudan’s Abubaker Khaki heads the line up with his list leading time of 1:43.68 run in Eugene last week. The rest of the field all have season’s bests of around the 1:45 mark and this should provide for a thrilling and tight tussle. Alfred Kirwa Yego, the 2007 World Champion, 2008 Olympic bronze medalislt and 2009 World Championship silver medallist, is always dangerous, as is Kiplagat Lalang.

Khadevis Robinson was the surprise winner in Rome and was runner-up in Eugene. Mulaudzi finished second in Rome behind Robinson, so will be acutely aware of the American’s potential.

Cheyne Rahme makes his season’s international debut in New York and will have his work cut out for him, but the field is just the right tonic for him to reach 5.60m B-Qualifying standard for the World Championships. Rahme in South Africa is streaks ahead of his competition, but in New York he will need to improve by a good 30cm on his season’s best in order to feature, as the top 3 in the field have already gone over 5.70m this year.

And Oscar Pistorius will also line up in New York in the 400m. With 15 athletes entered for the one lap race, it is likely Pistorius will line up in the B-race.

The broadcast for the meeting is on Supersport 7 at 9pm on Saturday.