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Training woes for Mulaudzi

By Mark Etheridge

A freak training injury has put world 800-metre champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi out of action and he has had to pull out of at least two top track and field meetings.

Mulaudzi was scheduled to run the two-lapper at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, Netherlands on Sunday but had to withdraw because of the injury.

Said his agent, Peet van Zyl, on Monday. “It was a total freak injury. It happened at training in Johannesburg late last week. He was on the track and there was a silly athlete running in the opposite direction. There were people standing around and Mbulaeni didn’t see the other athlete. They collided and he took a heavy fall.

“Not only did he hurt his knee but his kidneys were also very sore. We’ve sent him for CT scans and he’s been booked off until today when he will have another assessment.

“So he missed the Hengelo meeting and we’ve also pulled him out of Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Oslo that he was scheduled to run.”

With Mulaudzi out of action, Sudanese hot shot Abubaker Kaki won the 800m at Hengelo in 1min 45.66sec from Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski (1:46.23). There was still some South African interest in the form of World Championship semi-finalist Samson Ngoepe who opened his international season with an eighth-place finish in 1:50.10.

And South Africa’s Rene Kalmer took on the pacemaking duties in the women’s 5,000m. Kalmer was originally planning to run the 5,000 and qualify for the Commonwealth Games later this year but instead opted to help Meseret Defar as the Ethiopian made an assault on Tirunesh Dibaba’s world mark of 14:11.15.

Defar came out tops but her winning time of 14:38.87 was some way off her compatriot’s record. Kalmer pulled out after her pace-making duties and failed to finish the race.