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Wed Apr 23 21:41:03 SAST 2014

SA's Olivier cruises to 800m semi

Sapa | 06 August, 2012 13:410 Comments
Olympics Day 10 - Athletics
Duane Solomon (R) of the United States and Andre Olivier (2nd R) of South Africa compete in the men's 800m heat on day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 6, 2012 in London, England
Image by: Michael Regan / Getty Images

Andre Olivier had a comfortable progression to Tuesday's 800m semifinal, finishing third behind American Duane Solomon and Robert Lathouwers of Netherlands on Monday.

Solomon led the field through the bell in 50.36 with Olivier in fourth and moving up to second on the back straight.

A glance at the big screen gave him the comfort he needed to take an easy 100m to the line and a place in the semi-final in 1:46.42.

“I was surprised at the time given the slow final 100,” said Olivier.

“If the pace picks up tomorrow I'm ready for the personal best.”

There were no major surprises for the packed stadium with Abubaker Kaki and world number one David Rudisha progressing through their heats in 1:45.51 and 1:45.90 respectively.

“Its just amazing out there... 80,000 people on a morning session, I couldn't believe it,” continued the 22-year-old Olivier.

“The semi will be tough. If it's slow, we need to do something special on the back straight. If it's fast, I'll wait for the 100m.”

World number one, Rudisha, is the only athlete to have broken 1:42, but will face stiff competition in the final, which will be more tactical.

“This is not a diamond league with one race, it's a championship. If he (Rudisha) wants to win, he needs to go out front and do it the hard way," Olivier added.

"There are a couple of hungry people out there, I'm hungry... I'm hungry but lets see if (and) when I get to the final.

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SA's Olivier cruises to 800m semi

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