Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
VAN ZYL RELIEVED TO BE BACK IN FORM
LJ van Zyl burst back into form by finishing second at the New York Diamond League (photo credit: Reg Caldecott)
One-lap hurdler LJ van Zyl was delighted with his performance in New York on Saturday night, as he showed the first real glimpse in more than three years that he could regain his best form.
Van Zyl, the former Commonwealth champion and World Championships bronze medallist, clocked 48.78 seconds to take second place behind Javier Culson of Puerto Rico at the Diamond League meeting in the Big Apple.
It was the fastest time set by the 29-year-old High Performance Centre athlete since the 2011 season when he twice ran the national record of 47.66.
It was the 63rd time in his illustrious career that Van Zyl, a former world junior champion, was able to break the 49-seconds barrier, producing his trademark kick for the first time in years.
“This race is the confidence booster I so badly needed, especially because there have been times during the past three years when I was not able to run the times I knew I was capable of,” Van Zyl said.
“After studying a video of our race, I realised that I am capable of running even faster times.
“It was so important for me to run a good race, so I purposely had a somewhat cautious approach. I badly wanted to break 49 seconds.
“What excites me is that I was able to run strongly in the home straight despite a headwind.”
Van Zyl’s form has earned him a place at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on July 9.
He confirmed he would return home for a short stint before heading back to Europe.
“My main goal now is to keep my momentum going up to the World Championships in Beijing (in August),” he said.
“Apart from running in Lausanne, I will probably do another couple of races.”