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Fredericks keeps focus after fifth spot in Doha

Fredericks

By Mark Etheridge

His recent back injury behind him, South Africa’s 2014 Commonwealth Games 400-metre hurdles champion Cornel Fredericks’ comeback continued with a fifth place at the season-opening IAAF Diamond League in Doha, Quatar at the weekend.

Since his gold in Glasgow three years ago, Fredericks has had an up and down time of it with injuries, but at last feels like he’s making progress after his 49.96sec fifth place finish in Doha.

‘The time was somewhat slow,’ he said on his return to South Africa, ‘but a couple more weeks then I’ll be back to where I’d like to be.

’It was a tough first real race after a couple years out injured, but I enjoyed every moment out there and the atmosphere was great.’

‘Training continues today, and I’m heading to Europe on 2 June. My next race will be in Prague on 5 June and I’m looking to improve on my time and have a much better performance on the track.

‘Doha has been the fifth race of my comeback, the other four were local races. I’ll only be in Europe six weeks this year and not three months as in previous years. I’ll be based in Germany with the Newton Agency and have approximately six races, but none of them besides that on 5 June have been completely finalised.

‘I ran Africa Champs in Durban last year, but physically and mentally I wasn’t close to the shape I am now.

And while Fredericks is fully aware that he has some work to do, he’s not unhappy at all. ‘I’m just trying to be consistent every time I run and also looking for improvement. It’s been five races for 2017 and all sub-50s, so I’m chuffed about that.

‘I now just need to be clever in my preparation going into Europe and not have any setbacks or delays in training. If I can master that, the sub-49s will definitely be on the cards.’

Picture of Fredericks courtesy of Getty Images


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