LJ Van Zyl Qualifies Again For World Championships

By winning the 400m hurdles in 49.26 seconds in Sasolburg on Thursday night LJ Van Zyl qualified for a second time for the World Championships in Beijing.  But there is still a lot of racing for him to do.  At the Athletics Gauteng North Championships at Tuks on Friday afternoon he will compete in the 200m.

If everything goes according to plan, he will run four races within 24 hours.  The High Performance Centre athlete says:  ‘I purposely decided to make things tough for myself.  This is a little dress rehearsal for the World Championships where you sometimes have to run quite a few races in a short period of time.  I have to make sure that I am still able to get speed out of my legs even though I am hurting and my legs feel dead.’   Van Zyl has so far won both 400m hurdle races in which he competed.

At a league meeting at Tuks two weeks ago he won in 49.42s, which was also better than the World Championships A-qualifying standard.  Van Zyl said:  ‘At this stage I am not too worried about times.  I am out there to have fun and enjoy myself.  Naturally it is nice to win races.  The crowd that turned up to support us in Sasolburg made the racing even more special.’  Van Zyl, who improved his best time in the 200m to 20.86s three weeks ago, has no definite goals for this afternoon and evening.

He said:  ‘There will be some seriously fast guys running.  So I am just going to try and hang on and whatever happens happen.’

Photo credit: Reg Caldecott