Juan's on the verge | SASCOC - SASCOC

Juan’s on the verge

By Mark Etheridge

Olympic 1500-metre finalist Juan van Deventer is edging closer and closer to the first of two qualifying times that will hopefully see him included in Team South Africa for the Olympic Games later this year.

Van Deventer took 11th spot at a meeting in Hengelo, Netherlands on Sunday, just missing out on an A standard qualifier.

Seventh in the final in Beijing four years ago, Van Deventer clocked 3:35.55 to miss the mark by an agonising 0.05sec.

Still, not bad going in only his second 1500m track race since being injured in a car crash a year ago. “I’m happy with the progress, but extremely disappointed that I didn’t dip under the qualifying time,” Van Deventer told Road to London 2012 on Tuesday.

” I think race fitness let me down a bit, so hopefully I’ll get faster and faster as I get the race sharpness back. Johan [Cronje] and myself run the next three races together, starting on Thursday in France. Its not a strong field so we will have to work together, but then we have two races that are being set up for fast times.”

Cronje had himself dipped under the A standard mark with a time of 3:35.33 in Dessau, Germany on Friday. He’s the only South African athlete to have run a qualifying time over 1500m at this stage.

Van Deventer, loving the hot conditions currently being experienced in Europe, next races in France on Thursday and has three other 1500m races lined up during the next few weeks.