The fireworks c failed to ignit at the Athletics South Africa Nite Series 3rd leg at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Stadium last night.
Four athletes were expected to be in with a shout of grabbing qualifying times for the Rio Olympics in August, but the times failed to materialise for all four.
On a night when the weather was almost perfect, with only a slight westerly breeze cooling it down, the disappointing performances could perhaps be blamed on the fact that the SA Senior Championships were held only days earlier in Stellenbosch at the weekend.
One athlete who bought into the theory was University of Johannesburg student Dumisane Hlaselo, who produced arguably the best performance on the night in winning the men’s 1 500m.
His winning time of three minutes 39.49 seconds was well outside the Olympic qualifying mark of 3:36.20, but the effort was there on the night as he pushed for his ticket to Rio.
“Yeah, we were heading for the qualifier but somewhere, somehow we couldn’t get it done down here,” Hlaselo said.
“We came here from the championship, so we had a bit of fatigue because of the travelling. There was a lot of travelling and I think that caught us here.
“The conditions were perfect. It’s just that I didn’t have that oomph to make it happen. Sometimes the body does not respond.
“I have a couple of races coming up in Europe in May. I’m just going to go back and rest up for a couple of days and then get back into training. I’m also a bit behind with my studies and I need to catch up a bit there as well.”
There was disappointment when it was revealed that both former World Championships bronze medallist Johan Cronje and former Commonwealth champion LJ van Zyl were late withdrawals from the meeting.
Hurdles specialist Van Zyl has qualified for the Rio Olympics but, along with Wenda Nel, was expected to work on his speed in the flat 400m event last night.
But Beijing World Championships finalist Nel was in action last night and won the women’s 400m in 53.02, missing out on qualifying by less than a second. Olympic 800m silver medallist Nijel Amos, of Botswana, was also impressive in the men’s 400m, winning in 45.73.
Another Olympic hopeful, Lebogang Phulula, was just too slow on the evening with her time of 4:20.63 in the women’s 1 500m.
source: Herald Live