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Nel has no regrets and targets Gold Coast success

Nel

By Mark Etheridge

Wenda Nel may have waved goodbye to the World Championships final in London on Tuesday night, but South Africa’s top 400-metre hurdles athlete says she’s satisfied she left it all out on the Olympic Stadium track.

Nel ended fourth in the 400m semi-final, her 55.70sec time just not enough to go through as one of the fastest losers.

But the Pretoria athlete holds her head high as she reflects on her World Championships. ‘I guess have mixed feelings, both sweet and sour,’ she told Team SA.

‘I felt so good and will walk away satisfied. I came to run and compete, as I’ve been given this talent and am hugely privileged and passionate about my sport, but at the end of the day you have to execute on the day.

‘I started well and felt in control of my race coming out of the turn, and on hurdles six and seven my momentum was building up, but then before the ninth hurdle made my strides a little bit bit short, then stretched a bit before the 10th and started to overstride and it cost me on the night.

‘That was the only small fault I picked up, but if could have attacked that last hurdle like I have been doing this season I could have made up those 0.4sec. I really thought I would have to run a 54.50 to make the final.’

But Nel is certainly not in a bad space. To the contrary, she already has more plans. ‘I’m already excited to start training for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia. I know what I need to work on, a few small technical things.

‘But the bottom line is that I fought hard here. Mentally it was a nice tough race, I knew it would be tough, but I thought I handled it so much better than the Olympics, but that’s the way it works.

‘I’m not the only person who was disappointed. Many big names have not come through here, world champions who haven’t even managed to get a bronze medal.

‘No complaints from me, if I look back on my journey to now, some things work out, some don’t, but I can reflect that I gave my all.’

Picture of Nel in London on Tuesday courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA


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