By Mark Etheridge
He may have run 13min 22.64sec for the fastest 5000-metre race by a South African this year but Juan van Deventer sets high standards.
The 27-year-old Beijing Olympics 1500m finalist placed 15th in a fast 12.5 lapper at Friday night’s Diamond League track and field meeting in Stockholm, in his first serious attempt at the distance.
But Deventer who can mix it with most over distances from 1500m to 32km on the road was still not happy.
“I’m very disappointed with the run, my target was actually the SA record (Shadrack Hoff’s 13:14.16 in Gateshead 15 years ago),” said Van Deventer on Sunday.
“My 3000m split was right on time for a 13:05, but my last five laps I had nothing left. I did not have the best build-up in terms of high millage that i would have liked this year, so that’s one of the reasons I could not hang on over the latter stages of the race.
“On the plus side, my first competitive 5000m, so not a bad time, I feel with a better build up, i can go under the 13min barrier, but will try again in the SA season.”
As for the immediate future? “The only race that I am confirmed for at this stage is Rieti, Italy at the end of the month, I am still waiting for confirmation of the others.”
Commonwealth and African discus champion Elizna Naude pulled out of Sunday’s IAAF meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland but Van Deventer’s middle distance compatriot, Peter van der Westhuizen will be in action at the Spitzenleichtathletik meeting.
“It’s just a race to get my legs under me again before London. I decided to run here to get used to the time zone change and am hoping for a good run before heading to London.”