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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

800m man Rynardt van Rensburg retires

Although he is not even 30 years old yet, Rynardt van Rensburg has decided to call time on his athletics career. The 800m specialist made the announcement on his social media pages yesterday, when he informed his followers that it was time to hang up his spikes after a commendable career which included bronze medals at the 2016 African Championships and 2015 World University Games. The 29 year old says it is time for a new direction.

van Rensburg in action at an ASA Invitational Meet in 2015 which was one of his best years. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

"I am incredibly grateful for the life that athletics has given me. There is no "guarantee" in athletics and this is what makes it so beautiful. You can only give your best every day and prepare as best as possible, but it can still end badly. Today I proudly say that I worked as hard as possible and achieved what I could. With a heavy heart I made the decision to settle my eyes on other priorities, goals and interests," said the Nike athlete in an emotional Facebook post.

van Rensburg will probably be best remembered for the national title he won at the 2017 SA Senior Track and Field Championships in Potchefstroom and representing South Africa at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. But with a personal best of 1:45.15 run in 2018, he never did manage to break the magical 1:45 barrier which may explain why the man from Kroonstad in the Free State chose to exit the sport at a relatively young age.

van Rensburg also enjoyed time on the European circuit where he ran as a Nike Athlete. Photo Credit: Supplied.

"For 20 years I've only known one life, just one way of doing things. I lived a life of putting on running shoes and spikes and giving everything on the track. Athletics is actually such a beautiful sport. I always tell athletes that you must know that it's going to be bad 90% of the time and only 10% of the time will it be good. But I feel so proud when I look back on my athletics career," said the Olympic semi-finalist who was coached by his father Derek van Rensburg.

"I have a message for every athlete out there: hold on through all the difficult times and try not to be so hard on yourself. Everything that happens is a stepping stone to your next goal," he concluded.

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