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LJ on track for Games

By Mark Etheridge

LJ van Zyl is a man full of hope after fulfilling two-thirds of the qualifying criteria ahead of the Olympic Games in London later this year.

Van Zyl won the 400-metre hurdles final at the Yellow Pages inter-club event at Tukkies in Pretoria on Thursday night.

His 49.42 second win was inside the Olympic A qualifying time of 49.50sec and follows the qualifying time he ran internationally when he took the bronze medal at last year’s IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegue, South Korea.

Now all he has to do to seal his spot on Team SA for London is to pitch up at next weekend’s national championships in Port Elizabeth to start packing his luggage for London.

“Ja, I took the race like a round one race at a big meeting,” he told Road to London 2012 as he relaxed after his day’s work. “I just wanted to win and qualify for the games, as well as get in a race ahead of SA’s.”

And after national championships. ” I think SA’s will be my last hurdles race in SA for a while although I might run a flat 400 on 20 April in Pretoria. Then I’m getting ready for Europe.”

He went into the Easter Weekend full of hope as fiance Irvette van Blerk prepared for her own challenge, the Two Oceans half-marathon in Cape Town on Saturday.

“A race like Thursday gives a guy hope. I had a comfortable race. Didn’t push at all. I raced carefully and conservatively. Now I’m into my stride and want to build up my season to where I want to be in July-August.”


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