By Mark Etheridge
Our leading 800-metre runner, Andre Olivier is back on track and ready to race after an injury-curtailed 2013.
Olivier, who competed at his first Olympics in London two years ago, started his 2013 season well with a string of sub 1min 45sec performances (his personal best stands at 1min 44.29). He was also involved in some great clashes with Ethiopian Mohammed Aman, the world’s fastest man last year.
But now the 24-year-old is in confident mood ahead of the 2014 season, which has the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland as its highlight.
“I’m very lucky that I had a speedy recovery from my injury in Moscow,” he told Road to Rio 2016 this week.
Another first for Potchefstroom based Olivier will be early next month when he lines up at the Birmingham Grand Prix next month. “It will be my first indoor race ever and my only opportunity to qualify for World indoors [in Sopot, Poland in early March].
“I just want to be ready when the race starts and if all goes well I’m sure will get under that 1min 47.00sec qualifying time. Training has been going really good, and I feel strong.”
Olivier’s foot injury was in his left foot, a stress fracture as opposed to the freak injury he picked up in his right foot when he broke it while kicking a soccer ball. “Luckily it was a bone that heals real quick,” he said of his most recent injury.
Speaking of his indoor debut he was both optimistic but cautious. “I’m very excited but also a bit nervous for all those sharp bends!”
And looking beyond Poland, he still has a busy year ahead. “My goals this year are World Indoors, African Champs, and Commonwealth Games, and then I want to perform well in the Diamond leagues and World Challenge Leagues as well.”