SOUTH AFRICANS ON THE MOVE
Commonwealth champion Mbulaeni Malaudzi made a fast start to his season in Europe on Monday when he won the 800 metres in a time of 1 minute 43.25 seconds at an international meeting in Relingen, Germany.
His was one of six victories achieved by South African athletes on a warm afternoon.
Although the South Africans did not face any significant opposition, their performances near Hamburg were just what the doctor ordered to inject new life into their European campaigns.
Only Wilfred Bungei (1:43.05) of Kenya has run faster than Mulaudzi this year. At the weekend, another South African, Hezekiel Sepeng, recorded a time of 1:44.18 in Seville.
Rising South African star Graham Davidson of Gauteng was second in Monday’s 800 metres with a best-ever time of 1:44.98. Former world junior champion Japhet Kimutai of Kenya finished third in 1:45.47.
“I’m happy, very happy,” said Mulaudzi when he phoned his South African agent, Peet van Zyl, after Monday’s race. He said he had never expected to run under 1:44.0 in his first race in Europe.
Last week, Davidson recorded a time of 3:53.86 in the mile. After Monday’s performance, he appears to be the man who could break Johan Landsman’s SA record of 3:53.56.
UPE student Sherwin Vries should be happy with his performances in the sprints on Monday. He won the 100 metres in 10.22 and the 200 in 20.74.
Paul Gorries (400) and Llewellyn Herbert (400 hurdles) got away too slowly in their races to record fast times. However, Herbert said he was satisfied with his time of 49.94. German athlete Henning Kuschewitz was second behind Herbert in 50.59 seconds.
University of Pretoria’s Jacques Freitag won the high jump, successfully clearing 2.27 metres. He failed narrowly with his attempts at a height of 2.32.