Athlete Profile

Ockert Cilliers

  • COUNTRY South Africa South Africa
  • DATE OF BIRTH 21 APR 1981
Ockert Cilliers runs 49.69 secs in Yellow Pages Series meeting in Potchefstroom (Mark Ouma)
Ockert Cilliers runs 49.69 secs in Yellow Pages Series meeting in Potchefstroom (Mark Ouma)
  • COUNTRY South Africa South Africa
  • DATE OF BIRTH 21 APR 1981


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Ockert Cilliers (SILL-yea) South Africa (400m hurdles)

Born 21 April 1981, Vanderbijlpark, Vaal Triangle, Gauteng Province, South Africa (100 km south of Johannesburg).    

1.84m/74 kg.  Lives in Potchefstroom (150 km  west of Johannesburg). 

Manager: Andy Norman.  Coach: Dr. Ria van den Berg.  Club: Mr Price North-West University Athletics Club (2004 SA Students’ Athletics Champions)

Attended school at Driehoek Hoërskool, Vanderbijlpark. Awarded B Comm degree in Business Administration and an honours degree in Marketing from Potchefstroom University, recently renamed North-West University.

Athletics career started in 1996 at school, where he also played rugby. The rugby coach forced all his players to take part in athletics as well. Ockert chose 200m and 300m hurdles, and hurdling quickly became his primary interest.

Made his debut at national championship level in 1997 when he was eliminated in the semi-final of the 300m hurdles. Reached first career highlight the next year by winning the national Under 18 300m hurdles title, setting a new national record of 37.10 sec.       

Won bronze at 1999 SA Junior championships with a time of 51.44. A year later he took silver in 51.00 behind Ter de Villiers. Lowered his personal best to 50.53 sec for seventh place on the RSA year list. Selected for World Junior Championships in Chile and clocked 50.58 for 3rd behind Poland’s Plawgo and compatriot De Villiers.  

Dipped under 50 seconds in 2001 but failed to qualify for SA Championship final and ended the year with a best of 49.40. In 2002 improved to 49.30, won SA Under-23 title (49.92) and finished 6th at national championships.

Three sub-49 clockings followed in 2003 with best of 48.61. Placed 4th at national championships (50.00), 2nd in B race at Zurich GL (48.88). Selected for World Championships team, but eliminated in Paris semi-final (49.32).

Came into his own in 2004, reeling off times of 48.47 in Potchefstroom, 48.02 in Pretoria, 48.23 to win the National Championships/Olympic trials in Durban (topping five other sub-50 hurdlers, including Llewellyn Herbert and Alwyn Myburgh). Recently finished 3rd in the African Championships in Brazzaville (49.58).

His early season PB 48.02—“it came as a major surprise when I saw the time on the board”—is still fourth fastest in 2004 and Cilliers expects to be at his very best in Athens.                

Yearly progression 400m H/ 400m:  1999 - 51.44;  2000 - 50.53;  2001 - 49.40;  2002 - 49.30/ 47.20;  2003 - 48.61/ 46.41;  2004 - 48.02/ 45.80.

Prepared by Gert le Roux  for the IAAF "Focus on Africans" project. Copyright IAAF 2004.

Personal Best - Outdoor
Performance Wind Place Date
400 Metres 45.80 Secunda 06 FEB 2004
400 Metres Hurdles 48.02 Pretoria 20 FEB 2004
Progression - Outdoor showShow All Graphs
400 Metres Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2007 46.62 Potchefstroom 02 FEB
2006 46.56 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 03 JUL
2005 47.01 Helsinki 25 JUL
2004 45.80 Secunda 06 FEB
2003 46.46 Potchefstroom 14 MAR
400 Metres Hurdles Show Graphshow
Performance Place Date
2009 49.79 Bursa 10 JUN
2008 49.18 Germiston 22 FEB
2007 49.22 Pretoria 10 MAR
2006 49.31 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 03 JUL
2005 48.93 Ostrava 09 JUN
2004 48.02 Pretoria 20 FEB
2003 48.61 Pretoria 04 APR
2002 49.30 Potchefstroom 20 FEB
2001 49.40 Potchefstroom 24 OCT
2000 50.53 Pretoria 17 SEP
Honours - 400 Metres Hurdles
Rank Mark Wind Place Date
28th Olympic Games 6sf3 49.01 Athína (Olympic Stadium) 24 AUG 2004
9th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 6sf3 49.32 Paris Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 27 AUG 2003
IAAF/Coca Cola World Junior Championships 3 50.58 Santiago de Chile 21 OCT 2000


Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Ockert Cilliers (SILL-yea) South Africa (400m hurdles)

Born 21 April 1981, Vanderbijlpark, Vaal Triangle, Gauteng Province, South Africa (100 km south of Johannesburg).    

1.84m/74 kg.  Lives in Potchefstroom (150 km  west of Johannesburg). 

Manager: Andy Norman.  Coach: Dr. Ria van den Berg.  Club: Mr Price North-West University Athletics Club (2004 SA Students’ Athletics Champions)

Attended school at Driehoek Hoërskool, Vanderbijlpark. Awarded B Comm degree in Business Administration and an honours degree in Marketing from Potchefstroom University, recently renamed North-West University.

Athletics career started in 1996 at school, where he also played rugby. The rugby coach forced all his players to take part in athletics as well. Ockert chose 200m and 300m hurdles, and hurdling quickly became his primary interest.

Made his debut at national championship level in 1997 when he was eliminated in the semi-final of the 300m hurdles. Reached first career highlight the next year by winning the national Under 18 300m hurdles title, setting a new national record of 37.10 sec.       

Won bronze at 1999 SA Junior championships with a time of 51.44. A year later he took silver in 51.00 behind Ter de Villiers. Lowered his personal best to 50.53 sec for seventh place on the RSA year list. Selected for World Junior Championships in Chile and clocked 50.58 for 3rd behind Poland’s Plawgo and compatriot De Villiers.  

Dipped under 50 seconds in 2001 but failed to qualify for SA Championship final and ended the year with a best of 49.40. In 2002 improved to 49.30, won SA Under-23 title (49.92) and finished 6th at national championships.

Three sub-49 clockings followed in 2003 with best of 48.61. Placed 4th at national championships (50.00), 2nd in B race at Zurich GL (48.88). Selected for World Championships team, but eliminated in Paris semi-final (49.32).

Came into his own in 2004, reeling off times of 48.47 in Potchefstroom, 48.02 in Pretoria, 48.23 to win the National Championships/Olympic trials in Durban (topping five other sub-50 hurdlers, including Llewellyn Herbert and Alwyn Myburgh). Recently finished 3rd in the African Championships in Brazzaville (49.58).

His early season PB 48.02—“it came as a major surprise when I saw the time on the board”—is still fourth fastest in 2004 and Cilliers expects to be at his very best in Athens.                

Yearly progression 400m H/ 400m:  1999 - 51.44;  2000 - 50.53;  2001 - 49.40;  2002 - 49.30/ 47.20;  2003 - 48.61/ 46.41;  2004 - 48.02/ 45.80.

Prepared by Gert le Roux  for the IAAF "Focus on Africans" project. Copyright IAAF 2004.