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Van Zyl ends 2016 season on a high with hurdles win in Brussels

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By Mark Etheridge

Three-time Olympian LJ van Zyl wrapped up his season on a winning note with victory in the 200-metre hurdles event at Sunday’s Memorial Van Damme Urban meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
After a fine third-place in the 400m hurdles event at Thursday’s Diamond League Van Zyl overcame windy conditions to clock 22.68sec for the seldom-run event.
‘I was on the waiting list for the 400m hurdles and then got a slot when Nicholas Bett pulled out,’ Van Zyl said on his return to South Africa. ‘So I got a chance to run and ended up running one of my best races of the year.
‘The 200m hurdles was just great fun. I’m happy for the win and it was a nice way to wrap up my year. Now I’m more motivated to go big for next year’s World Championships in London.’
Elaborating about his 200m hurdles history he went on: ‘I’ve run three now, two in Manchester and this one and I still hold the joint world record with Britain’s Andy Turner (22.10).’
So what’s next for Van Zyl. ‘Now I’m working on finishing my Masters degree in Sports Management and then I can give some more attention to my Bonsmara cattle… I need some new bulls for breeding season,’ he joked.
‘And importantly I’m also helping Irvette [his wife and fellow Olympian] get back from injury.’ She had to withdraw from the Olympic marathon in Rio due to a foot injury.
‘She’s doing lots of swimming and cycling now and will be able to start jogging next week and is hoping to do the SPAR 10km Challenge next month if she’s recovered.
‘For my part, I’m not doing any athletics for at least two weeks now and then I’ll do a few street miles to just stay in shape.’


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