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Finnish triumph for hurdler Hamman as Fredericks still hunts Rio spot
- Updated: June 30, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Hurdler Le Roux Hamman’s ever-improving season stayed on track with victory at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland on Wednesday evening.
The Pretoria based athlete won the one-lap hurdles event in Turku, his time 49.44 sec after meeting the qualifying criteria for the Rio Olympics in Pretoria at the beginning of this month.
Runner-up was the host nation’s Oskari Moro in a season’s best 49.50 with Estonia’s Rasmus Magi third in 49.59.
Le Roux’s personal best stands at 49.24 and his run of form means he looks set to join LJ van Zyl and Lindsay Hanekom in an SA 400m hurdles trio in Rio.
‘Yes, I ran nicely again tonight,’ Hamman, 24, told Road to Rio 2016. ‘I actually started a bit slowly but at the end I came through nice and strongly and caught the guys on the line.
‘It was a really nice meeting, one of the best I’ve been to with a lot of people racing and watching.’
At the same meeting SA sprinters Lebokeng Sesele and Roscoe Engel both ran times of 10.37 to place fourth and fifth in the 100m dash. Both had gone faster in the earlier heats.
Meanwhile Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles champion Cornel Fredericks continues to chase the elusive 49.40sec qualifying time. He missed the mark again on Tuesday night as he ended third in a meeting in Sollentuna, Sweden with a time of 49.94. Philippines athlete Eric Cray won in 49.67 from Dominican Republic’s Juander Santos.
At the same meeting Jerry Motsau also missed the 1500m qualifying mark as he ended ninth in 3:42.15.
Fredericks is due to sit down with his coach on Thursday to plot the way forward from here as the qualifying deadline of 11 July draws ever closer.
Picture of Hammann, courtesy of Margaret Olwoch