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Cremona claims first European victory of the year

It became perfectly clear on Saturday that Orazio Cremona is no one-shot wonder ÔÇô a throw of 20.39 metres in the shot put event in Oordegem, Belgium saw to that.

This throw by the South African was enough to give him his first victory in an international competition this season. But, even more important, Cremona was again able to throw beyond the 20-metre mark.

The first time that the 23-year-old Tukkie managed to do this, was during the South African Open Meeting in Potchefstroom the weekend before. His winning throw then was measured at 20.30 metres.

Cremona is now fourth on the all-time list of best performances by South African shot putters.

Only Janus Robberts (21.97m in 2001), Burger Lambrechts (20.63m in 2004) and Jan Pienaar (20.60m in 1990) can boast with better distances.

Cremona has now exceeded the B-qualification (20.10m) for the IAAF World Championship in Moscow at two events, but even this will probably not be enough to impress the decision makers of Athletics South Africa, reports ZCMC Media. ÔÇ£Yeah, it was good, especially considering that I had to travel 14 hours to get to the meeting and only got to bed at one o’clock in the morning,ÔÇØ was Cremona’s reaction to his new personal best performance.

ÔÇ£I simply had to put everything into one throw because that was all the energy I had. I am very pleased that I was again able to throw farther than 20 metres. The fact that I did it in Europe this time is a huge achievement for me. But I am still not satisfied. I still have to throw 20.60 metres to qualify for the World Championship in Moscow.

ÔÇ£I hope I remain fit and be well rested for the forthcoming meetings.ÔÇØ On Tuesday Cremona will compete in Velenje, Slovenia.

LJ van Zyl is the other South African athlete who was victorious in Oordegem on Saturday. He won the 400-hurdles in 49.85 sec. According to Van Zyl, the reason why he was not able to run a faster time was the freezing conditions in which they had to run.

ÔÇ£But at the moment it is not about running fast times for me. What is more important to me is to keep on winning, because I gain more confidence after each victory.

ÔÇ£In Manchester last Saturday I managed to beat Felix Sanchez (Olympic Champion) and Dai Greene (World Champion) in a 200-hurdles race.ÔÇØ

With his time of 22.63 seconds, Van Zyl has probably unofficially bettered the South African record of Shaun Bownes for the 200-hurdles. Bownes’s record is 22.91s. But Van Zyl’s time might not be officially recognised┬á because it was set in a street event.

In other European action, Khotso Mokoena was victorious on Friday in Budapest, Hungary. He won the long jump with a jump of 8.16 metres, which was a new meeting record.

Jukka H├ñrk├Ânen, Mokoena’s coach and agent, said he jumped 8.25 metres on his first attempt, but unfortunately he had overstepped by 2mm.

Mokoena will be competing in Dakar on Sunday.


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