Cronje nails first qualiier | SASCOC - SASCOC

Cronje nails first qualiier

National 1500-metre track champion Johan Cronje raced to an Olympic Games qualifier in Germany this weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.

Cronje who has overcome more injuries than most in his quest to be part of Team South Africa at the London Olympics later this year.

The Bloemfontein athlete ran 3min 35.33sec for third spot behind Kenya’s Benson Seurei at the annual Anhalt Meeting in Dessau.

That was good enough to slip under the 3:35.50 Olympic A standard time.

“I’ve just arrived in Europe and luckily the pace was good enough for a qualifier,” Cronje told Road to London 2012. “I felt easy the whole way through except for the last 200. Might be some rust… I’m running tomorrow again in Rehlingen.”

Now Cronje must run another international A qualifying time to provisionally make the SA squad, subject to the national Olympic governing body, SASCOC’s approval.

Beijing Olympics 1500m finalist Juan van Deventer is running the 1500m in Hengelo on Sunday. Like Cronje he’s also on the comeback after knee surgery when he was hit by a car a year ago.

Other South African athletes in action were Ruan De Vries, fourth in the 110m hurdles (13.91), while Dean Brummer was fourth in the 3000m steeplechase (8:29.98).

SA long jump champion Zarck Visser won the long jump but his 8.06 is still 14cm short of the A qualifying distance.

In the women’s 1500m Mapaseka Makhanya ran 4:15.08 to end 11th.

Meanwhile at the Flanders Cup in Oordegem, Belgium, little Nolen Conrad ran a personal best for the 3000m steeplechase.

“I ran 9:54.02 which was 0.23sec from the national record run on the same track last year by Tebogo Masehla,” she told Road to London 2012.

“My previous PB was a 9:59 at World Student Games and my season’s best was the 10.07 I ran in Stellenbosch earlier this year so I’m super happy with this time.”