By Mark Etheridge
in Rio de Janeiro
Two-time Olympic hurdler LJ van Zyl has put the finishing touches to his racing ahead of the upcoming 2016 Olympics.
After first competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Van Zyl competed again in London four years ago over the 400m hurdles distance but had a disappointing time of things, dropping out in the heats.
Now training under Irma Reyneke, Van Zyl seems to be getting back to his form of old and has had a solid time during the Olympic qualifying period.
The final race of his pre-Olympic schedule came in London at the weekend where he competed at the Diamond League.
He placed fourth in 48.92 seconds as American Kerron Clement won in 48.40 from Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson (48.63) and Turkey’s Yasmani Copello (48.70). World leader this year Johnny Dutch could only manage seventh place.
Van Zyl was happy with that time at this stage of his planning.
‘Yes, I’m satisfied,’ he told Road to Rio 2016. ‘It was a good race just before the Games.
‘Now I’m just needing a bit of rounding-off before Rio and I know I have to be better over the last hurdle.’
Indeed it’s the last hurdle that has seen Van Zyl failing to accelerate away at pace over the vital final stretches of the one-lapper.
‘I also had lane one and two and it’s my best race from an inside lane ever which is very encouraging.’
The next time Van Zyl will line up now will be at the Rio Olympics.