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Cronje ‘disappointed’ at warm-up

By Mark Etheridge

Just days out from the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and world championships, bronze medallist Johan Cronje hit a temporary hiccup.

Cronje lined up for the 1500-metre event at the IAAF Diamond League in Monaco as part of his fine-tuning for Glasgow.

In a fast and furious race, Cronje ended up 12th in 3min 33.69sec as Kenya’s Silas Kiplagat blew the field away to win in 3:27.64.

That made him the fastest man in the world this year, the fourth fastest man ever and it was also a Diamond League record.

Kenya made a clean sweep of the medals as Ronal Kwemoi took third in 3:28.81 ÔÇô┬áan ominous flexing of muscles by the East African nation ahead of the Games.

Afterwards Cronje was brutally honest about his race. ‘It’s my most disappointing race since World Championships 2009 in Berlin. Training showed I’m in much better shape than 3:33 but for some reason things didn’t go as planned.

‘I need to get my head right before the Games but thanks for all the support from everyone even though this face ended up the way it did.’

Cronje later told Road to Rio 2016: ‘I will arrive on the 29th. I just need to sort out these small things before then. I hope all comes together soon ÔÇô I don’t like to be so negative before a champs.’

There’ll be no shortage of support for Cronje and Team SA, as Deputy Minister Cyril Ramaphosa assured the team of South Africa’s undivided support at their send-off earlier this week.