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    ADRIAAN WILDSCHUTT SETS NEW SA 500M RECORD IN BELGIUM, QUALIFIES FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

    Adriaan Wildschutt, a 25-year-old long-distance runner from Ceres, Western Cape, South Africa, has emerged as a dominant force in track running. Currently based in the United States, Wildschutt recently made headlines by breaking the South African record in the 5000m race at the Night of Athletics meeting in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.

    During the event, Wildschutt achieved an impressive time of 13 minutes, 02.46 seconds (13:02.46), surpassing the previous record of 13:04.88 set by Elroy Gelant in 2016. This remarkable performance not only solidified his position as the new king of long-distance track running in South Africa but also secured his qualification for the World Championships and the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris next year.

    Wildschutt’s success in Belgium followed another notable achievement in May, when he broke the national record for the 10,000m race. He shattered Hendrick Ramaala’s 1999 record of 27:29.94 by clocking an impressive time of 27:23.10 in Walnut, near Los Angeles.

    Wildschutt’s running journey began at Bella Vista High School in Ceres, where he honed his skills. He later competed for the University of the Western Cape before earning a scholarship at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, where he graduated with a business degree. Subsequently, he pursued his studies further at Florida State University, where he completed his MBA. Currently residing in Tallahassee, Florida, Wildschutt continues to train and compete.

    Upon his victory in Belgium, Wildschutt took to Instagram to express his joy and gratitude. He shared his excitement about achieving a personal record, qualifying for the world championships and the Olympics, and breaking the South African record. He also acknowledged his teammate, Olin Hacker, for his outstanding performance and a 10-second personal record.

    Now Wildschutt can prepare to travel to Budapest in Hungary for next month’s world championships in the 5 000m, as his 13:04.88 effort surpassed the qualifying time of 13:07.00. He is currently 25th on the 2023 world list, with the fastest time this year set by Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi, who clocked an outstanding 12:40.45 in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 30.

    The event takes place from August 19-27, with the men’s 5 000m heats scheduled for August 24, and the final for August 27.

    Main Image: Twitter

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