Mulaudzi records easy win in Oudtshoorn

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, world indoor and Commonwealth 800m champion, showed his readiness to defend his titles in Moscow and Melbourne next month when he recorded a comfortable win at the fifth Athletics South Africa Champions meeting at Oudtshoorn on Saturday afternoon.

His winning time of one minute and 46,77 seconds, without really exerting himself, was the fastest of the year in South Africa.

“I am pleased with my performance and really looking forward to the forthcoming international races,” he said after his event that took place in scorching heat. He will also run in Pretoria next Friday before travelling to Russia for his indoor title defence.

Other members of the Commonwealth team also showed fine form. Hardus Pienaar won the javelin with an impressive distance of 82,56m, while Ruben Ramolefi, the national 3 000m steeplechase champion, ran a brilliant race in the extreme heat in a good time of eight minutes and 33,51 seconds.

South African champions Sherwin Vries (10,46 seconds) and Leigh Julius (20,97) won the 100m and 200m events, and the 35-year-old Adri Schoeman clocked a good 52,14 seconds to win the 400m, running away from her opponents.

Geraldine Pillay managed easy wins in the women’s sprints.

High-jumper Jacques Freitag, who was hoping to show up the national selectors for leaving him out of the South African Commonwealth Games team, failed to do so when he could not clear the bar at 2,25m.

His winning height was 2,20m and it was clear that he had not fully recovered from an injury suffered recently in a motor accident. He set his current national record of 2,38m at the same venue a year ago.—Sapa

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