LJ opens 2012 with 400m | SASCOC - SASCOC

LJ opens 2012 with 400m

World Championships 400-metre bronze medallist, LJ van Zyl will make his first appearance this season at the second leg of the Yellow Pages meeting in Potchefstroom on Saturday as one of the big draw cards in the men’s line up.

He’ll be joined by 2009 world champion Mbualeni Mulaudzi (800m) who makes his first appearance of 2012. Also racing are Simon Magakwe, Thuso Mpuang, Gideon Trotter, Leigh Julius, Roscoe Engel in the men’s 200m.

LJ van Zyl will use the flat 400m race to see whether his Olympic preparation is on track. ÔÇ£If I can run a good 400m then my hurdles will also go well,ÔÇØ said the SA 400m hurdles record holder. Van Zyl says that he wants to run a good ice-breaker race in Potchefstroom but that qualifying is not on the cards this Saturday. ÔÇ£I will try and qualify in Pretoria, at the same track where I broke the SA Record last year.ÔÇØ

Mulaudzi’s goal is to try and run a fast time in the men’s 800m in Potchefstroom and has called for a pacemaker to assist him with achieving this. The A-standard qualifying time in this event is 1:45.60 and after a disappointing end to 2011 when an injury prevented him from competing at the World Championships in Daegu, another Olympic Games could be the cherry on top for the 31-year-old former Olympic silver medallist (2004).

Mulaudzi competed in the 800m only four times in 2011, all before July with a season best of 1:45:50 in Roma on 26 May, before injury curtailed his season. Johan Cronje will join Mulaudzi in the 800m after a long lay-off due to injury. Cronje made appearances at the Yellow Pages Summer Series in December. Some of the other athletes in this race will be Andre Olivier, Rynardt van Rensburg, Hannes Naude and Namibia’s Daniel Nghipandulwa.

The men’s javelin features international competition, as two Czech athletes Vitezslav Vesely (fourth at 2011 World Championships in Daegu) and Jakub Vadlejeh, with personal bests of 86.45m and 84.44m respectively have entered.

The duo is in Potchefstroom for a training camp with their coach, former World and Olympic Champion Jan Zelezny. Hardus Pienaar, Africa Junior Champion Rocco van Rooyen and the SA youth Record holder and World Youth Championships silver medallist Morne Moolman (now junior), will add spice to the event.