Doing the decathlon at international level is hard enough as it is.
Try doing it coming off the back of the World Junior Championships, taking a trans-Atlantic flight from Eugene, Oregon to Glasgow, Scotland and taking on a second decathlon the very next day.
Well, that’s what tough-as-teak Pretoria athlete Fredriech Pretorius took on here over the last two days.
The youngster is still very much a teenager … for goodness sake, he only turns 19 next week. But he showed resolve beyond his years in this event, setting personal bests in 40% of his events.
He ended up seventh in the 10-code discipline with a total of 7639 points as Canadian Damian Warner won with a tally of 8282.
‘This is my best with senior implements,’ he said. ‘With junior implements I’ve gone 7791 points.
‘I wasn’t very happy with my first day’s performances, I just sat in the starting blocks for the 100m! But throughout the rest of the competition I got better.’
Better was something of an understatement as he achieved personal bests in the 1500m, pole vault, 400m and discus.
And he ended off his two-days work in style, running away from the field in the 1500m to clock 4:28.33.
‘I was also seventh at World Junior Championships,’ he said. ‘It must be my lucky number, seven. Now I must rest a bit for the rest of the year and concentrate on my studies,’ said the BSc Sport Science student.
It’s nice to see that he’s still human though … he only climbed out of his bed in the athletes’ village just after 11am on Wednesday morning after his manic two days.