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Mulaudzi should do the job in Daegu

World 800 metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, will have a much easier time of it when he lines up as the clear favourite over two laps at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Daegu, South Korea on Wednesday.

Mulaudzi placed fourth, dipping under 1min 44sec in a world-class field last week at the inaugural IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar, but he should have the measure of his opposition in Daegu.

Sapa reports that the stiffest challenge is likely to come from Latvian Dmitrijs Milkevics, whose personal best of 1:43.67 is less than a second slower than Mulaudzi’s career record of 1:42.86.

But even Milkevics will battle to keep pace with the veteran South African. The 28-year-old has not run under 1:45 since 2007 and the former World Indoor Championships semi-finalist will have his hands full against the front-running Mulaudzi, a former world indoor champion.

Two unheralded Kenyans, Gilbert Kipchoge and Ismael Kombich, will look to cause an upset, but even the East African onslaught will struggle to topple the South African. Rising Australian stars Jeffrey Riseley and Lachlan Renshaw, both 23, have shown steady improvement in recent seasons but will have to be at their best to put up a serious challenge.

Renshaw is the second fastest in the field this season, having clocked 1:46.66 in Perth in April, while Riseley holds a season’s best of 3:42.70 over 1 500m, his preferred distance, and will look to go out hard and remove the sting from the kicks of the two-lap specialists.

Mulaudzi, the only South African in the provisional start lists, was third in Daegu last year behind Bahrain’s Youssef Saad Kamel and Bilal Mansour Ali, but against a much weaker field on Wednesday will be confident of improving on that performance.