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Tebogo goes close again

By Mark Etheridge

Our top women’s steeplechase athlete, Tebogo Masehla had another solid display at the Josef Odlozil Memorial meeting in Prague on Monday night, an evening which saw three South Africans in action.

The Gauteng athlete recently broke her own 3000 metre steeplechase record when she ran 9min 54.19sec in a meeting in Belgium last month. On Monday she went close to improving on that time when she clocked 9:54.34 in the Czech Republic meeting.

That was good for eighth spot in a race won by Fente Alemu Birtukan in 9:30.25, a personal best for the Ethiopian. But despite her consistent sub 9-55 form Masehla is not happy. “A time of 9:54.3 in a quality field won in 9:30 and dominated by Kenyans and EthiopiansÔǪ not good, but I won’t stop trying. I’ll try again in France in two weeks time,” Masehla told Road to London 2012.

For now though Masehla can enjoy some belated birthday celebrations after having to put the fun on hold at the weekend as she was doing pace-making duties.

Also in action on Monday were Lehann Fourie and Peter van der Westhuizen.

Fourie, our top 110m hurdles athlete, ended fifth with another impressive clocking of 13:57 in a race won by American Ty Akins in 13.39. “It was a fairly close race and I started in lane one,” said Fourie. “I’m glad that I’m fairly consistent but I really need to start dropping my times.”

Fourie also competed in Gothenburg, Sweden at the weekend but was disqualified from his event.

In the men’s 1500m, United States based Van der Westhuizen ended 13th with a 3:47.06 clocking. Race honors went to Fouad El Kaam in 3:35.93.


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