Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
FREDERICKS EAGER TO LAUNCH COMEBACK IN LUCERNE
Cornel Fredericks remains confident of booking his place at the Olympic Games, as he embarks on his final qualifying campaign at a European Permit meeting in Lucerne on Tuesday night.
After enjoying a superb season in 2014, which included gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, African Championships and Continental Cup, the 400m hurdles specialist was sidelined for most of last year.
Overcoming an Achilles injury to qualify for the World Championships, he pulled out of the global showpiece in Beijing with a hamstring strain.
Having based himself in England this season with coach Malcolm Arnold, he has had a quiet year, clocking a best time of 49.75 to finish second behind former training partner LJ van Zyl at the national championships in Stellenbosch in April.
With compatriots Van Zyl (48.67), Lindsay Hanekom (49.03) and Le Roux Hamman (49.24) all having dipped under the qualifying standard of 49.40 for the Rio Games, Fredericks believed he could join the race for one of three spots at the multi-sport spectacle, with less than a month remaining before the July 11 deadline.
“My training has been going really well,” the Tuks-HPC athlete said on Monday.
“What is more important is that I am injury free, so it is just a question of staying focussed and making sure that I do the small things right when I race.
“I know some people may presume that I am under pressure to get the qualification out of the way but I am not obsessed about it. I have proven to myself that I can come up with a good race when it matters.”
He admitted, however, that he needed to sharpen up with a few races before finding his best form.
“It is one thing to train and something else to race. My body has to get used to racing again.
“This I can promise, I still have the hunger to succeed and I firmly believe that I still have two or three good years of racing left.”
Fredericks was set to be joined by six other SA athletes in Lucerne, with Henricho Bruintjies (men’ 100m), Antonio Alkana (men’s 110m hurdles), Orazio Cremona (men’s shot put), Alyssa Conley (women’s 100m), Wenda Nel (women’s 400m hurdles) and Maryke Brits (women’s long jump) all included in the start lists.