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Pacemaker wins mile

Yellow Pages Oudsthoorn

Yellow Pages Oudsthoorn

The highlight of the second Yellow Pages Summer Series Meeting in Oudtshoorn, was undoubtedly the men’s mile as pace maker Elroy Galant led the field of 6 athletes through the 800m mark in 1:58 – spot on for a sub 4 mile. But then the 5000m World Championship Athlete was already 30m ahead of the chasing pack. By the time he reached the bell (he was to take the field through 1200m in 2:58) he had a lead of 50m. Encouraged by stadium announcer, Altus Schreuder, Galant made a brave run for the finish. He was 1 sec off the pace as he started the last lap, and came desperately close to the magical mark of 4min. In the end Galant crossed the line in 4:01;69 – 5 seconds ahead of runner up Johan Cronje, with local Junior Ettiene Plaatjies a further second adrift.

“I came here to pace, and stuck to my job. But when the announcer and the crowd started cheering for me and encouraging me, I kept going. It was heartbreaking to come so close, especially as this is my second mile ever, but I am happy with the win,” said Galant after the surprise win.

Earlier Sergio Mullins showed his hunger for the half lap by winning the 200m in 21.49sed and Brent Stevens is fast becoming the athlete to beat in the short sprint. Stevens had won the 60m in the first Yellow Pages Summer Series Meet in PE on 8 December. He repeated the feat of beating Leigh Julius in the 100m with a time of 10.59sec.

Sonja van der Merwe showed her ability when she won the 200m and 400m. In the first race, she defeated the former National Champion Isabelle Le Roux (24.36sec – 24.99sec) and in the 400m she went away from the rest of the field, crossing the line in 54.54sec. “I am going to be focusing on both events in 2012, so this was a good exercise for me. I am really happy with my races today. There is some work to do, but this is a good indication of where I am.”

UJ’s Zark Visser continues to threaten the 8m with his winning jump 7.78m. “I am getting closer. It is just a matter of time. I really thought that I could hit the mark today and felt good, but it was not to be. It will come though.”

The series moves on to Stellenbosch on December 15 before finishing off on Saturday 17 December in Parow.

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