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- Storm stays calm as he holds off McIlroy to win SA Open
- Productive camp for Banyana ahead of French clash
- Storm hits last round of SA Open with three-stroke lead
- SA athletics already have Tokyo 2020 on their mind
- Storm leads suspended Open as McIlroy suffers setback
- Western Cape gears up for national championships
- Horne and Fisher upstage world No2 at SA Open
- Selepe set to make history at Davis Cup tie
Conley blitzes to a personal best in Switzerland
- Updated: June 15, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
National champion Alyssa Conley was the pick of the South Africans in action at Tuesday’s European Permit Meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The Gauteng sprinter flew to a new personal best in the 200m, finished second in 23.00sec behind Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper (22.91).
The race was run into a 1.4m/sec headwind but she was still quick enough to her improve her own best by just 0.01sec, her previous best having come at national championships in Stellenbosch earlier this year.
Prior to Tuesday’s personal best she won the 100m B race in 11.36.
It wasn’t the best of nights for two of SA’s leading 400m hurdlers, Cornel Fredericks and Wenda Nel.
Fredericks, still hunting down a qualifying time for the Rio Olympics, ended third in 50.15 behind Estonia’s Magi Rasmus (49.95).
And Nel was also third in her race. The Pretoria athlete who has comfortably qualified for RIo ran 56.07 as former training partner Sara Petersen of Denmark won in 55.20.
Said coach Irma Reyneke (pictured with Nel in Germany above): ‘It wasn’t a good time for Wenda but a person can’t just expect to get better and better every race,’ she explained to Road to Rio 2016. ‘We trained very hard in Germany this week and the weather was a bit old and windy.
‘But it was still a qualifying time. Next up are African Championships where she wants to race well in both the heats and finals because that’s how it’s going to be at the Olympics.
‘Then she’s confirmed for the Diamond League in London on 22 July and we’re still waiting to hear about Monaco on 15 July. That means just four more races before the Olympics… can you believe it?’
And Reyneke expressed her happiness with Nel’s run-in to Rio. ‘Yes, I’m satisfied so far. She’s injury free and that’s the most important thing now and to stay healthy for the last nine weeks. There’s still hard work ahead but anything’s possible in Rio.’
In field events it wasn’t the happiest day for giant Gauteng shot-putter Orazio Cremona. Although he heaved his way to second spot with an 18.68m on the night he would have expected far better as Brazil’s Darlan Romani won in 20.36m.
Cremona will need a 20.50 throw to come into content for RIo.
‘I threw terribly last night,’ was Cremona’s candid confession to Road to Rio 2016. ‘One of the worst performances I’ve had. It’s a strange feeling when training and competition are far apart.’
In his defence, Cremona is still on the way back from a long-term injury but is not using that as an excuse. ‘I’m just not clicking at the moment and maybe just forcing it a bit. The injury is not an issue. The main thing is the mind I guess.
‘Self pressure and forcing things can get to the best of us. In training I’m probably averaging between 19.80-2.00m which is good. It sets me up for 20.40m plus. But like I said it’s just making small mistakes and forcing things and in such a technical sport, it can go very wrong very quickly.’
Cremona now heads back to Johannesburg to regroup and get into his best shape for the upcoming African Championships in Durban.
In other field action, Maryke Brits leapt 5.93m in the long jump for fifth spot behind Canada’s Chrisabel Nettey’s 6.56m.