Two-time Olympian LJ van Zyl has qualified a second time for this year’s IAAF World Championships
His latest qualification came at a meeting in Sasolburg on Thursday evening where he won the 400-metre hurdles in 49.26 seconds.
But there is still a lot of racing for him to do. At the Athletics Gauteng North Championships at Tuks on Friday afternoon he was set to compete in the 200m. That means that if everything goes according to plan, he will run four races within 24 hours.
‘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,’ the High Performance Centre (hpc) athlete said.
‘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 49.42, which was also better than the World Championships A-qualifying standard.
‘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 Friday afternoon and evening. ‘There will be some seriously fast guys running. So I am just going to try and hang on and whatever happens happen.’
Picture courtesy of Reg Caldecott