Lehann Fourie blitzed to a season-best 13.55sec in the 110-metre hurdles final at Sunday’s Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, Netherlands, writes Mark Etheridge.
United States based Fourie, who recently switched both state and coach, placed sixth in a race won by Cuban great Dayron Robles in 13.07.
Jamaica’s Dwight Thomas (13.18) and Terrence Trammell (13.31) were second and third respectively.
Fourie placed just 0.01sec behind fifth-placed Joel Brown. His current personal best stands at 13.44, run in the States last year, and this early season form bodes well for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile middle-distance athletes Peter van der Westhuizen and Mapaseka Makhanya both had below-par races at Sunday’s meeting.
Racing the 1500-metre, Van der Westhuizen placed 13th in 3min 42.21sec in a┬á race won by Saudi Arabian athlete Mohammed Shaween in 3:31.82.
Van der Westhuizen who did pace-making duties in the 5000m at last week’s IAAF Golden League meeting in Rome, said in hindsight he shouldn’t really have run on Sunday. ‘I probably shouldn’t have raced. I had bronchitis a week ago and my body hasn’t recovered from that yet. I’m still trying to get over it but these things take time.’
The United States based runner is next scheduled to run the 1500m or mile event in Oslo, Sweden.
Makhanya lined up in a star-studded 1500m and last year’s national 800m champion placed 15th in 4:31.45. The race was won in a world-leading time of 4:00.33 by Burundi’s Maryam Yusuf Jamal.
It was Jamal’s second win in the space of three days, having also won at Thursday’s Diamond League in Rome.
Next big meeting is the Golden Spike event in Ostrava, Czech Republic and Fourie and his in-form hurdles colleague LJ van Zyl (400m hurdles) will both be in action.
Meanwhile world 800m champion Caster Semenya ran her best time of the season when she ran 2min 00.61sec to win the two-lap event at a meeting in Dakar at the weekend. That improved her previous season’s best of 2:00.77 and will be encouraging after her battle to shake off a lower-back injury.
Her next big meeting is expected to be the Prefontaine Classic (a Diamond League event) in Eugene, Oregon next weekend. A handful of South Africans were in action. Pick of the rest was Cornel Fredericks’ runner-up spot in the 400m hurdles (49.39). Junior world long-jump champion, Luvo Manyonga was fourth in his event, with a 7.58m best on the day.