JOHANNESBURG - Cornel Fredericks and bad luck have been strange bedmates over the last three years and the 400m hurdles ace is ready to give it an eviction order as he looks to rekindle his form from 2014.
The defending Commonwealth Games champion has battled injury, while he is perhaps the unluckiest athlete when it comes to retaining coaches.
Fredericks has worked under five different coaches in seven years but hopes for consistency with his latest mentor Irma Reyneke.
A month before the London 2012 Olympic Games his coach, Bruce Longden, died at the age of 72.
In 2015 he battled with injury, running only three races while he dropped short of the Olympic qualifying time of 49.40 seconds.
Last year he partnered with former mentor Hennie Kotze, who coached him to great success in 2014.
Kotze coached Fredericks remotely due to commitments in Qatar which ultimately led to a split once again.
Fredericks was one of the most consistent South African athletes in 2014 when he won a host of international accolades including the Commonwealth Games, African Championships and Continental Cup titles.
He posted the third-fastest time in 2014 clocking 48.16 seconds coming within 0.02 of his personal best from 2011.
“It all depends on whether they select me or not but I will not put my heart on that and I’ve already tasted success at the Commonwealth,” Fredericks said. “It would be great to represent my country again and defend my title, and if they do not select me because of their rules and regulations I will respect their decision.”
The 27-year-old Fredericks has reason to be sceptical after he experienced his best season in three years.
The four-time national champion dipped below the IAAF’s qualifying standard of 49.35 three times this season but it was not deemed good enough by Athletics SA (ASA).
ASA set a stringent qualifying criteria of 48.50, which would have been good enough for a bronze medal at this year’s world championships in London and silver at the 2015 edition.
“It was disappointing (missing out on world championship selection) and although it wasn’t a great season, I still consistently dipped below the world qualifying time,” Fredericks said.
“I earned a few podium spots and it was great to race without any serious niggles.
“I lined up in seven races in Europe and in five of them I dipped below 49.50 seconds which was a sign that I was on the right track and hopefully I can build on that.”
Backed by a new coach, Fredericks has a new lease on his career and is looking forward to reaching his goals whether ASA selects him or not.
“I will not allow it to hold me back, I will still go to Europe where I would like to race as many Diamond League races as possible,” Fredericks said.
“The goal for next year is definitely to dip below 49 seconds and to push to get as close as possible to my personal best which is 48.14.
“It won’t be easy but I don’t have many years left in my career and it is time to push for it.”