South African 1,500 metre track champion Johan Cronje had to settle for second spot at┬á Monday’s 45th Annual Athletics Festival in Rehlingen, Germany,
Two days after fellow metric milers Juan van Deventer and Peter vand der Westhuizen had run personal bests in the United States, he had some act to follow.
Making his task even harder was the fact that he was coming back after a lay-off of almost two months.
Still he manged to finish second in 3min 40.01sec as Kenyan William Biwott bolted to victory in a quickish 3:37:08.
Cronje was followed home by two more South Africans in the shape of Limpopo’s young Pharson Magagane of Limpopo and former junior star Tshamano Setone (22). Magane clocked 3:41.13 for third and Setone was one positing back in 3:41.50.
Former SA sprint champion Morne Nagel, who has not competed this year, got his season off with a third spot in his 400m, clocking 48.01 and ending up seventh fastest of the one-lappers on the night.
In the women’s category Estie Wittstock (29), won one of the two 400m races in 52.34sec. Wittstock who has had to withstand a glut of injuries, recorded her
second fastest┬á time since 2006.