In May, when she competed in an IAAF World Challenge in Beijing, Nel won the 400-hurdles in a personal best time of 54.37s.
Throughout the season the Tuks/HPC athlete impressed with her consistency. On no less than eight occasions she clocked times that are listed among the 20 fastest on the IAAF-rankings.
“I am happy with the way my season has played out so far. The fact that I was able to compete in more Diamond League meetings certainly boosted my confidence,” said Nel on Friday.
“It proved to me that I am good enough to compete against the world’s best. I am in a good place at the moment. All I need to do is work on my technique to make sure that I don’t make any mistakes again,” said Nel who was 5th in the Paris and London Diamond League meetings.
“The problem with running the 400-hurdles is that on one day you will run the near perfect race but the next time you make some silly mistake which costs you a few hundredths of a second. I guess this is what the 400-hurdles game is all about.”
Orazio Cremona (shot put) is the other Tuks/HPC athlete who will be in action on Sunday. In spite of not having had the best of seasons so far, he is quietly confident that he will be able to qualify for the final.
“My biggest frustration was that I was side-lined by a groin injury during the past few weeks, which meant that I was not really able to throw. Luckily the experts at the HPC helped me to sort out the problem,” said Cremona.
Cremona’s best distance last season was 20.63m. He tied with Burger Lambrechts as South Africa’s second-best shot put athlete ever. Only Janus Roberts (21.97m) was able to throw a better distance.
“It is important that I should not become obsessed and try to go for the really big throws too soon. I have learned over the years that in shot put it is all about being patient with what you are doing. In the past I tended to force matters by trying to go too far too soon and that just jaded me. I really want to do well at Worlds. I hope to at least make the top-five.”
Cremona considers his seventh place in the finals of the World Indoor Championships, as well as winning the African title and achieving 4th place at the Commonwealth Games as his highlights for 2014.