Mulaudzi dips under 1:44 | SASCOC - SASCOC

Mulaudzi dips under 1:44

World 800-metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi opened his European season with a sparkling start at the first IAAF Diamond League track and field meeting in Doha, Qatar on Friday night.

Mulaudzi was one of five South Africans in action on a hot desert night and although his fourth placed finish meant he missed out on a podium place, he would have been pretty pleased with his season-best of 1min 43.78sec.

Going into the race he had a year’s best of 1:45.41 from the local Yellow Pages series.

Quicksilver Kenyan David Rudisha, the world’s quickest man over the two-lapper this year, was a comfortable winner in 1:43.00, this after a first lap of 49.31 by the designated pacemaker. Mulaudzi was one of four men under the 1:44 mark.

Commonwealth 400m hurdles champion LJ van Zyl took third spot in a quality field but his 49.59sec was not only slower than his 49.45 run in the Yellow Pages series but it was also well off the pace in a race won by Bershawn Jackson (48.66) and fellow American Kerron Clement (48.82). Still, there lies a long season ahead, culminating in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in October.

World championship 3000m steeplechase finalist Ruben Ramolefi was also making his 2010 international debut and can be well pleased with his 8:16.50 finish. It was only good for ninth spot but it was a quality field, led home by Kenya’s world champion Ezekiel Kemboi (8:06.28).

Importantly, Ramolefi and coach Hans Saestad had targeted a time of around 8.20 to get their international season up and running.

Young triple jumper Tumelo Thagane made his international debut with an inauspicious 16.44 metres, some way off his early season form when he posted a 17.09 best but he now knows what sort of standard he is going to aspire to in the season to come. Winner was Cuba’s Alexis Copella with 17.47.

Last of the South Africans was a late-entry in the form of Rene Kalmer. She clocked 4:07.89 in the women’s 1500m, good for ninth spot on the night.

By Mark Etheridge

One Comment

  1. Gle

    May 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Great perormances by the South African Athletes. Well done. Looking forward to see Cornell Fredriks, Mokoena, Setone, Mzazi, Mokoka, Makanya, Mashetla, Filmater and Van Deventer, etc. in action soon.

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