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Athletics | SA Track & Field

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Nel looks to shine in the absence of SA elite

Wenda Nel hopes to improve her season's best in the women's 400m hurdles at the SA Open Championships, the final event of the domestic track and field season, in Potchefstroom on Saturday.

Nel set a season's best of 56.09 seconds in Sao Paulo, Brazil, last week, and she hoped to take it down further this weekend as she prepared to go head-to-head with training partner Annerie Ebersohn.

The last time the two athletes faced each other, Nel lost her South African senior title to Ebersohn, who won the national championships in Stellenbosch last month. Nel hooked her foot on the last hurdle in the final, which effectively cost her the title.

"I want to see if I can break the 56 seconds barrier," Nel said on Friday.

"Annerie is in great shape at the moment, but I'd rather want the good time."

The season finale will offer the country's second-tier athletes a chance to shine, with the majority of South Africa's elite competing in the international campaign.

In the absence of Caster Semenya, who is recovering from an injury, according to media reports, Gena Lofstrand will headline the women's 800m race.

The 17-year old won the two-lap title at the SA Junior Championships this season and set her season's best time of 2:04.60 at the SA Senior Championships.

Rynardt van Rensburg will line up in the men's 800m event, while Antonio Alkana will spearhead the men's 110m hurdles race.

Dwayne Boer and Albert Janki will compete in the men's long jump and triple jump respectively.


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