Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
OLIVIER READY TO RACE AGAIN
Returning from a lengthy injury-enforced layoff, middle-distance specialist Andre Olivier hopes to bounce back with a bang this weekend.
Olivier will compete in his first race in more than eight months when he lines up in the men’s 800m contest at the European Indoor Permit meeting in Gent, Belgium on Saturday.
Last year, the Potch-based athlete had a solid indoor season, setting a 1 000m personal best of 2:19.24 in Metz and clocking 1:46.04 over the 800m distance in Stockholm.
In the 2015 outdoor campaign, he ran a season’s best 1:45.73 over two laps in Hengelo in May, to qualify for the World Championships in Beijing, but he was later sidelined by a torn ligament in his foot and was forced to withdraw from the national squad.
Holding an indoor personal best of 1:44.99, which he set in Birmingham in 2014 (just 0.08 outside Mbulaeni Mulaudzi’s national record), the 26-year-old athlete aimed to dip under the qualifying mark of 1:46.50 this weekend, in order to book his place in the SA team for next month’s World Indoor Championships in Portland Oregon.
Olivier took fourth place in the 800m final at the previous edition of the World Indoor Championships in Sopot two years ago, missing out on the bottom step of the podium by 0.21
He was not included in the 11-member team named by Athletics SA last month for the Portland showpiece, but the IAAF qualifying window remains open until March 7.
“I hope to get the qualifying time in Gent,” the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said on Tuesday.
“My foot is 100% now and winter training went really well.”
Olivier confirmed he would also turn out in the men’s 1 000m race at the IAAF Indoor Permit meeting in Stockholm next week, and he was eager to compete in the 800m event at the top-flight league meeting in Glasgow three days later.
Aside from Olivier, Cherese Jones (women’s 60m) and Mandie Brandt (women’s 800m) are also in the start lists for the Gent meeting on Saturday.