Mundell books London Olympic ticket
16 May 2012
Race walker Marc Mundell booked his place in the South African Olympic team after a top performance at the World Race Walking Cup in Saransk, Russia on Sunday.
Competing in the 50km event, he shattered his South African record with a time of 3:57:57 to fulfil the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee's (Sascoc) and Athletics South Africa's qualifying criteria.
Mundell's previous South African record, which he set in Zittau, Germany in April 2009, was 4:04:54.
'Only one chance'
"I only had one chance for the 50km this year and I had to use it, no matter the conditions," the 28-year-old told Athletics South Africa.
"I battled with the heat throughout the race, pouring water all over my body. It constantly evaporated each lap and dehydration and over-heating was a concern."
After incurring muscle cramps from the 33km mark, his pace slowed and he then had to pick up the pace in order to finish in the goal time he had set for himself, averaging five minutes per kilometre.
Consistency helped Mundell through the last 10km, which led to him finishing 26th overall.
"I had to dig really deep for the final kilometres, trusting in my support team, training, and my mental willingness to embrace the pain and to take my body to a new level of discomfort, while many athletes were suffering around me," he said.
Mundell missed out on inclusion in the 2009 World Championships team in Germany after recording his previous B-standard time on debut in 2009 in Zittau, Germany. London will be his first Olympic Games.
In the 20km walk, Lebogang Shange led the South African team with a time of 1:30.05 (77th).
Thami Hlatshawayo clocked 1:30:58, while Wayne Snyman finished in 1:32:16. Pierre de Villiers came through in 1:34:03, and Armond Nel completed first international meeting in 1:35:14.
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