LJ & Co in Monaco | TeamSA - TeamSA

LJ & Co in Monaco

By Mark Etheridge

Our star athletes continue the fine tuning of their fitness ahead of World Championships on Friday evening with the 10th Samsung Diamond League meeting of the season in Monaco.

At the latest count a trio of our athletes will be in action ÔÇô Ruben Ramolefi, LJ van Zyl and Sunette Viljoen, all of them already chosen for the provisional SA team to travel to Daegu for World Championships.

Possibly our best hope of a medal in Daegu, 400-metre hurdler Van Zyl has been lying low for a few weeks as he prepares for world championships, he holds the four fastest times of the year this season.

Wednesday’s birthday boy ÔÇô he turns 26 ÔÇô Van Zyl has twice run 47.66 and of his seven rivals on Friday, three ÔÇô Jeshua Anderson, Bershawn Jackson and Angelo ÔÇô have managed to dip under the 48sec barrier. The three are within 0.01sec of each other with season’s bests of 47.93, 47.93 and 47.94 respectively. Fastest in the field is Kerron Clement with a personal best of 47.24. Also in the field is European champion David Greene.

Van Zyl would also need no excuse to go shopping on his birthday after his luggage had been broken into during his trip to Europe.

Meanwhile his coach, Hennie Kotze expects Van Zyl to bounce back after his first defeat of the season in New York a few weeks back. Kotze told Road to London 2012: “According to his training he should run under 48sec again. He’s just got to keep a cool head and his focus is getting better and better.”

Viljoen continues to look for the big one in the women’s javelin. Consistently over 60m this season her best is 61.74 but she knows she’s going to have to come close to her personal best (66.38) if she wants to medal in Daegu. Barbora Spotakova and Christine Obergfoll are the one’s to chase on Friday night.

Meanwhile Ramolefi continues to mix it with the all-conquering Kenyans in the grueling steeplechase event. He’s up against a field of 16 on Friday, six of whom have gone quicker than his 8min 14.06 season’s best. Quickest of the field this year is Paul Koech’s 8:01.83 and his personal best of 7:56.37 is also the quickest of the line-up.

Ramolefi told Road to London 2012 this week: “I’m now in St Moritz, Switzerland where I’m preparing for the rest of my season and all consequent events. Monaco will be my last steeple before the World Champs and I’m hoping to run one 1500m after that to help with my my preparation. So far this year, I’ve already run in Daegu, Shanghai, Eugene and Paris so far with my best result that 8:14 in Paris.”


Good luck to our stars competing in Monaco. The princess will look after you guys.

Gideon Sam
Gideon Sam

Happy Birthday LJ and sorry to hear about your clothing. But being in Italy, it should not be a problem replacing the lost goods!!!!!