It will be ‘do or die’ for Juan van Deventer at the Hengelo Athletics Meeting in the Netherlands this Saturday.
His performance on Saturday in the 1500-metre could be seen as the last throw of the proverbial dice for him as it will be his final opportunity to qualify for the IAAF World Championship in Moscow.
According to Van Deventer’s friend and South African rival, Johan Cronje, that’s what the former Olympic finalist told him. To qualify Van Deventer will have to run a time faster than three minutes and 35 seconds.
Last Friday in Dessau, Germany, Van Deventer was third in a time of 3:36.84 and Cronje finished second in 3:36.70.
Cronje is confident that they will be able to run a time faster than the A-qualifier, but only if the weather plays along.┬á This is a very big ‘if’. All the South African athletes competing in Europe during the past two weeks had stories to tell about their respective exploits in the icy cold weather conditions.
According to ZCMC, Cronje predicts that, if the weather conditions are good and if all the athletes are prepared to make a real race of it, it would be possible for him to run a time of roughly 3:32.00 in the 1500m.
On Monday Cronje competed at a meeting at Montreuil-sous-Bois, France. Kenya’s Abednego Chesebe won in 3:38.11 and Cronje was fourth in 3:38.86.
Cronje, who bettered the South African record (3:33.46) at the first of the Diamond League meetings earlier this season, was upset with himself after his latest race. ÔÇ£Tactically it was one of my worst races. The mistake I made was to allow myself to be boxed in up to the last 80 metres of the race. By the time I was able to get out, the leaders were far ahead and there was no time left for me to catch up with them.ÔÇØ