SAMSON Ngoepe, the 24-year-old member of the 2008 SA Olympic team, recorded the second fastest time of his career when he won the 800m at the Gothenburg Grand Prix in Sweden on Tuesday night with a time of 1:46.47 seconds in a race comprising athletes from nine countries.
Sweden's Mattias Claeson was a close second in 1:46.60, with Great Britain's Andrew Baddeley third in 1:48.28. Ngoepe's performance was a great improvement on his showing at the Yellow Pages SA Championships at Stellenbosch in March when he only managed an eighth place.
His time in Sweden was faster than the B qualifying time for the World Championships in Berlin.
To come into contention for the Berlin team, however, he will have to equal or better the A standard of 1:45.40. SA champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi is already in the team.
For any more runners, a maximum of two, to be considered the A entry standard is compulsory. Runner-up at the nationals, Andre Olivier, is currently out of action with an injured ankle.
He narrowly missed the required time at Stellenbosch with a brilliant 1:45.41.
Hezekiel Sepeng, a contender with times of 1:46.38 in March and 1:47.00 recently in Brazil, will go to Europe later this month. - Sapa