Peter goes close | SASCOC - SASCOC

Peter goes close

Middle distance ace Peter van der Westhuizen edged ever closer to Olympic qualification in the 1500-metre event at the weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.

The United States based athlete, from Kempton Park originally, ran the Jamaica International Invitational meeting in Kingston on Saturday. He ended up second behind Ethiopia’s Aman Wote.

Wote clocked 3min 35.92sec with Van der Westhuizen runner-up in 3:36.56. Canada’s Taylor Milner was third in 3:38.50.

Van der Westhuizen’s time was an Olympic B-standard qualifying time (3:38:00). But in order to come into reckoning for Team South Africa at the Games he’ll have to go better than the A standard of 3:35:00 on two occasions.

“I’m getting close to that Olympic A! 3:36.56 for 2nd at the Jamaica invitational. I have some good races lined up so let get after it! Find your strong!!!” said Van der Westhuizen on his Facebook site after his race.

Britain’s Andrew Baddeley’s 3:35.19 is the quickest time of the year so far.

“Yes we’re getting closer,” Van der Westhuizen told Road to London 2012 on Wednesday. “Hopefully South Africa will send three of us to the Olympics.

“The race was OK. the pace was a bit quick for the first lap (53sec) so that made it tough to catch the guy who won. I’m racing another one in California (Oxy high performance meet) on the 18th of May and it’s a good field so I will have another go at it there.”