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No Naude but Juan set to go

By Mark Etheridge

African discus champion Elizna Naude will miss Sunday’s IAAF Spitzenleichtathletik track and field meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Naude retained her continental title in Nairobi, Kenya at the weekend and had planned on throwing in Switzerland to keep her run of good form going.

But she said on Thursday that discretion was the better part of valour.

“It’s the same adductor niggle that I had when I was throwing in Nairobi,” she said. “Thank goodness it’s not a new injury. The main thing now is to make sure I’m right before the World Cup event in September. At this stage that’s my next meeting and I definitely want to be right by then.”

Next big meeting is Friday’s DF Galan Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden where world 100m champion and recordholder, Usain Bolt lines up against Tyson Gay for the first time this season.

The race would have taken on even bigger significance as Bolt’s Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell was scheduled to line up as well but withdrew injured.

This would have been the first time this season that the three medallists at last year’s World Championships in Berlin would have run against each other.

At this stage the only South African athlete in action on Friday is Juan van Deventer, who ran the 1500m at last week’s African Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.

On this occasion he lines up for the 5000 metre event. “I’m only doing it because there were no other races for me to run. I’ve got a time in mine but don’t want to say beforehand what that is. And then I’m still waiting for confirmation of other meetings coming up.”

Van Deventer is a huge talent, the 27-year-old holding his own at all the middle distance events and has won a 32km road event as well. He┬á was the man to break track legend Johan Fourie’s 3000m record with a fine 7min 41.06sec in Stockholm a few years back so there’ll be much interest in his 5000m exploits.