Rio Olympian Rynhardt van Rensburg put months of frustration behind him in Hengelo, Netherlands at the weekend as he raced to a personal best in the 800-metre event, writes MARK ETHERIDGE.
The Free State flyer clocked 1min 45.15sec at the Hengelo World Challenge meeting, improving on his previous personal best of 1:45.33 which he set in Rio two years ago.
'I'm so stoked about my PB,' he told Team South Africa. 'The weather was perfect and I love this meeting It's such a massive boost for me after a difficult 2017 season.
'I decided to run a hard and aggressive race and it paid off. OK, I'm a little bit sad that four guys just managed to get past me in the last 50m but I had to give myself a chance. Now I need to work on keeping form in the last 50m then I should hit 1:44.
'But for now being ranked 12th in the world secures my World Cup spot and gives me a successful trip.'
Van Rensburg says the build-up didn't go entirely without hiccups. 'I got a small Grade One muscle tear in my calf a week before the Shanghai Diamond League so it was a disastrous week but this time everything went 100% well. My training is showing times I've never run before and the PB was just a matter of time.
'Training has been going great. We've been doing things a bit differently this year and my body is reacting the way it should be,' said an elated Van Rensburg.
The two-lap affair was a quality field with eighth place coming in a quick 1:45.4.
Next up for Van Rensburg is a meeting in Nijmegen, also in the Netherlands, on Friday but he's also waiting on news to see if he has secured a spot in the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League on Sunday.
'Then I'm heading back to SA a week today to finish my final exams and then I'll come back for World Cup preparation and another few races near the end of June,' he said.