CRONJE STILL IN SEARCH OF OLYMPIC QUALIFIER

 
Updated: July 3, 2016

Johan Cronje remained locked in a race against time, after missing out again on the Olympic qualifying standard in Belgium on Sunday, with eight days left in the window period to book his place in the SA squad for the Rio Games.
Cronje finished seventh in the men’s 1 500m race at the Flanders Cup meeting in Lokeren in 3:42.41, with Belgian athlete Peter Wirtz Callahan taking the win in 3:39.44.
The national record holder and former World Championships bronze medallist was nearly five seconds outside his season’s best of 3:37.49, and the elusive 3:36.20 Rio qualifying mark remained out of his reach ahead of the July 11 deadline to be considered for selection.
Meanwhile, competing for the second time since returning from long-term injury, Zarck Visser produced a season’s best of 7.81m to win the men’s long jump competition at the Belgian permit meeting.
He sailed just three centimetres further than Ignisious Gaisah of the Netherlands, who grabbed second spot with a 7.78m leap.
While this was his best effort in more than 11 months, and Visser had already qualified for the Rio Games with a personal best of 8.41m set in Bad Langensalza in July last year, domestic criteria required athletes to “prove their form” ahead of the multi-sport showpiece.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist had one more week to convince selectors he was in shape, with six men having met the Olympic qualifying standard of 8.16m.
Le Roux Hamman built on his consistent recent form, winning the men’s 400m hurdles race in 49.61, as he charged to a convincing victory ahead of second-placed Dominican athlete Juander Santos, who clocked 49.97.
Hamman, one of three SA men to have achieved the 49.40 qualifying standard for the Games, dipped under 49.70 for the fourth time in three weeks.
Walter Ungerer ended third in the men’s 100m sprint in 10.55, crossing the line 0.16 behind Stanly del Carmen of the Dominican Republic, who won in 10.39.
Ungerer returned to the track later in the evening to win the second heat in the men’s 200m event in 21.19.
Muntingh Hamman finished third in the men’s 110m hurdles contest in 14.11, with former world junior champion Antwon Hicks of the United States securing victory in 13.60.
Henco Uys settled for 11th position in his 800m heat in 1:53.32.