Louis Jacob van Zyl

Louis Jacob Van Zyl

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Louis Jacob van Zyl

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Louis Jacob van Zyl, known as L.J. van Zyl, (born July 20, 1985) is a South African athlete competing in the 400 metre hurdles. He is the South African record holder in the event with a personal best of 47.66 seconds. He is a three time African Champion in the event and competed for his country at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

He was the 2002 World Junior Champion over 400 m hurdles and reached the World Championships final at the age of twenty in 2005. His breakthrough into the senior ranks came in 2006 when he won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and African Championships, as well as silver medals at the IAAF World Cup and IAAF World Athletics Final. He became the All-Africa Games champion in 2007. He came fifth in the 2008 Olympic final.

Career

Born in Bloemfontein, his first international medal came at the 2001 World Youth Championships in Athletics, where he took the bronze with South Africa in the Swedish medley relay. He won the gold medal in his speciality at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Athletics, but did not medal in his attempt to defend the title at the 2004 competition. His international breakthrough came at the World Athletics Final in 2005, when he finished third.

The next year he won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games with a new personal best time of 48.05 seconds, which was a new Games record. He also won a silver medal in 4×400 m relay with the South African team. Later...
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