By Mark Etheridge
London Olympian Andre Olivier raced to a season’s best 800-metre time in the season’s second IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting in Shanghai, China on Sunday.
Olivier was also in action in the opening meeting, in Doha, Qatar last Friday where he finished seventh in 1min 45.39sec.
But he upped his game on Sunday going just over half a second quicker and ending third in 1:44.86.
That’s a season best for the Potchefstroom based athlete, in a race that saw him make almost all the running, apart from pacemaker Bram Son of the Netherlands.
Son took the field through the first 200m in under 25sec and hit the bell in a brisk 50.22.
When Son stepped off with just over 200m to go Olivier put his head down and went for home. But he was caught agonisingly close to the line and pushed out into third spot.
Kenyan Robert Biwott, just 18 years old, won in a huge personal best of 1:44.69 with Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi second after celebrating ‘victory’ without looking to his left as Biwott burst through.
There was also a solid run from London Olympian and Commonwealth Games medallist LJ van Zyl in the 400m hurdles as he ended just off the podium in fourth place (48.97) as American Michael Tinsley won in a meeting record 48.77.
In the men’s 100m, Justin Gatlin’s 9.92 eclipsed our own Simon Magakwe’s season-leading 9.98 at SA champs to be the quickest on the globe this year.