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Relay four target record
- Updated: March 19, 2012
Our world-record breaking 4×100-metre relay para-athletics team will have another crack at the record during the Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled in Durban this weekend.
The championships run from 24-28 March. Less than a month ago, competing against able-bodied athletes, South Africa’s Paralympic sprint team set a new world mark of 45.20 seconds at the Yellow Pages interprovincial meeting in Germiston.
The team, comprising of Laureus award winner Oscar Pistorius, Arnu Fourie, Zivan Smith and Samkelo Radebe, want to press home their claims for spots to go to this year’s London Paralympics as individuals but are also real gold medal hopes in the relay as well.
ÔÇ£We definitely want another crack at the record,ÔÇØ Fourie says of their plans for Durban. ÔÇ£We don’t have that many opportunities to run together and push our times up, as we are based across the country, so we want to use this run to have another go.
ÔÇ£We want to try and better the record again, especially as the team for London hasn’t been finalised and every guy will be running for a place in the team.ÔÇØ
While their World Record came as a bit of a surprise to some in Germiston, Fourie believes they have more in them to better the mark they set last month. ÔÇ£We knew we were not far off when we ran in Christchurch [IPC World Championships last January], we came close to the record but our handovers were not good. Germiston was a faster track and we were running against able-bodied athletes, so it really helped.ÔÇØ
Fourie says the challenge now is to better the record at the coast without the help of faster athletes in their race. ÔÇ£It was kind of a funny feeling to set a world record and still finish last in the race, but the four of us love running together and when we do, we want to go as fast as we can.ÔÇØ
The sprinter will also be looking to set good times in the 100m and 200m events in which he will be competing, but believes the standard of competition will be high this year.
ÔÇ£It will be the first time in years that we will be pushing for good times at the nationals. There aren’t a lot of disabled events and usually March isn’t a good time for us to run as we go overseas in June and July and need to peak then, but with this being a Paralympic year, you will see some classy performances in Durban.ÔÇØ
The Nedbank Championships takes place at various centres around Durban from March 24-28.