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Success for Johannes, LJ

At least four South African athletes were in global action on Sunday, three on the track and one on the road. And all four can be happy with their returns.

On the road Johannes Kekana placed runner-up in the Stockholm Marathon in Sweden, clocking 2hr 16min 09sec in a race won by Kenyan Joseph Lagat (2:12:48).

On the track 400-metre hurdles ace LJ Van Zyl dipped under the 49sec barrier in the IX European Athletics Festival meeting in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

It was the first time this season he broke 49sec, having run 49.50 and placing fifth in Friday night’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo, Norway.

“He won the race in Poland,” confirmed coach Hennie Kotze. “And his time of 48.87 is confirmation of the form that we know he’s in right now.”

Van Zyl’s next race will be in New York at the weekend.

At another IAAF meeting in Rabat, Morocco, Ruben Ramolefi ran 8:18.26 to place ninth in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. This after a week that saw his training disrupted through a tendon injury. His pre-meeting expectations were around 8:20 so he’ll be well pleased.

The race was won by Frenchman Mahiedine Mehkhissi-Benabbad in 8:08.82.

Then in the women’s 1500m Rene Kalmer clocked 4:10.60 to place ninth behind Nancy Jebet Langat of Kenya (4:05.80).

By Mark Etheridge