Another batch of South African athletes are in European action on Thursday night, writes Mark Etheridge.
This time out it’s the Sollentuna Grand Prix in Sweden and four SA athletes will be competing.
Wayde van Niekerk (new SA record holder in the 400m) drops back down to his more familiar 200m event and will line up as the fastest man in the field.
He’ll be using the race as part of his Commonwealth Games preparation for Glasgow next month.
Also on the track will be Rikenette Steenkamp in the 100 hurdles and Justine Palframan in the 200m sprint. Only field athlete will be another Commonwealth Games competitor in the shape of Ruswahl Samaai who goes off in the men’s long jump.
National 400m champion Palframan is not going to the Commonwealth Games but is concentrating on a good performance at the African Senior Championships in Morocco later this year.
Said her father Steve on Thursday: “She’ll probably just be looking at going as close to 23sec as possible tonight although it might be a bit cold for good times right now.”
Palframan also has races lined up in Belgium on Saturday, Slovenia on Tuesday and another two meetings in Italy once they return to their training camp in Gemona.
The 20-year-old is now 18 months into her B.Sc (Sports Science) degree at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape.
“She ran her first race in Sweden, a 400m and although she came second with a 53.9sec she had been feeling the effects of a cold virus when she left South Africa,” Palframan senior told Road to Rio 2016.
The youngster will be the second fastest in the 200m line-up on Thursday ÔÇô only reigning World Youth Champion Irene Ekelund’s 22.92 is quicker than the 23.02 that Palfrman ran at national student championships earlier this year.