Van Deventer eyes marathon but still has track plans | SASCOC - SASCOC

Van Deventer eyes marathon but still has track plans

Olympic 1500-metre finalist in Beijing in 2008, Juan van Deventer is itching to run his first marathon, but before he does that, he wants to take care of his unfinished business on the track.

After Johan Cronj├®’s brilliant performance at the World Championship in Moscow, where he won a bronze medal in the 1500m, people started enquiring as to the whereabouts of Juan van Deventer and why he wasn’t in Moscow.

Considering that, since 2006, Cronj├® and Van Deventer were like chalk and cheese when it came to running the 1500m, it is no wonder that people wanted to know what has happened to him.

Over the past eight years, Cronj├® has won the national title four times and Van Deventer three times, reports ZCMC. The two of them were also in stiff competition to see who would be the first to improve on the SA record of 3min 33.56sec, set by Johan Landsman in Zurich in 1993.

Cronj├® was the one to do so when he ran a time of 3:33.46 in Doha earlier this season while Van Deventer ran his best time for the season (3:36.84) in Dessau.

ÔÇ£I want to congratulate Johan on being the first to break the SA record, as well as being the first to win a medal in the 1500m at a major championship. It was awesome. It’s his time now and he should enjoy it,ÔÇØ Van Deventer said.

ÔÇ£I have experienced my worst season in six or seven years. I have had seasons in the past when I was injured, but then I was still able to manage some half-decent performances.┬á This time I could just not get going.

ÔÇ£I could feel it in my training sessions. They were OK, but nothing special. I simply could not reach the levels that I have achieved in the past. I really don’t understand why it was like this.

ÔÇ£I think the bad weather in Europe was partially to blame. It was certainly not conducive to running fast times, but then I also did not have the opportunity to run in good races. And when I raced, nothing clicked. It was just one big frustration.ÔÇØ

There had been rumours that Van Deventer was contemplating to switch to running marathons. ÔÇ£Yes, that is definitely my goal. But after a season like this one, there is no way that I will allow myself to quit track and field running.

ÔÇ£I still have unfinished business on the track concerning the 1500m. There are too many unfulfilled dreams and goals that I still want to achieve before I turn 40.┬á I will have to make next season count.ÔÇØ

Van Deventer hopes to achieve two goals during 2014. The first is to qualify for the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships in Poland (7-9 March) and the second is to represent South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

ÔÇ£My focus for the Commonwealth Games will be on the 1500m but, if the program should allow it, I should love to double up and run the 5000m as well. ÔÇ£But no matter what happens in 2014, I will run my first marathon.ÔÇØ