Hezekiel SEPENG

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    South Africa South Africa
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    30 JUN 1974
    ATHLETE'S IAAF CODE
    9127
Hezekiel Sepeng of South Africa in the men's 800m (Getty Images)

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
400 Metres 46.50 Potchefstroom (RSA) 25 JUN 2003
800 Metres 1:42.69 Bruxelles (BEL) 03 SEP 1999
1000 Metres 2:16.47 Stockholm (SWE) 01 AUG 2000
1500 Metres 3:38.24 Cape Town (RSA) 12 APR 1996
One Mile 3:57.33 Stellenbosch (RSA) 16 FEB 1995
3000 Metres 8:21.58 Rustenburg (RSA) 22 JAN 2001
4x400 Metres Relay 3:00.26 Athina (GRE) 10 AUG 1997
4x800 Metres Relay 7:04.70 Stuttgart (GER) 06 JUN 1999

Legend

* Not legal.

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
800 Metres 1:45.12 Karlsruhe (GER) 28 FEB 2003
1000 Metres 2:18.82 Liévin (FRA) 23 FEB 2003

Legend

* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2009

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
800 Metres 1:46.38 Stellenbosch (RSA) 14 MAR 2009
1500 Metres 3:50.76 Port Elizabeth (RSA) 20 FEB 2009
3000 Metres 8:35.9h Potchefstroom (RSA) 23 JAN 2009

Outdoor

400 Metres

Performance Place Date
2004 48.22 Potchefstroom (RSA) 28 MAY 2004
2003 46.50 Potchefstroom (RSA) 25 JUN 2003
1998 47.16 Roodeport (RSA) 23 JAN 1998

Outdoor

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2009 1:46.38 Stellenbosch (RSA) 14 MAR 2009
2008 1:48.80 Arnhem (NED) 18 JUN 2008
2005 1:48.03 Durban (RSA) 18 FEB 2005
2004 1:43.94 Roma (ITA) 02 JUL 2004
2003 1:43.12 Bruxelles (BEL) 05 SEP 2003
2002 1:44.39 Monaco (MON) 19 JUL 2002
2001 1:43.57 Monaco (MON) 20 JUL 2001
2000 1:43.98 Zürich (SUI) 11 AUG 2000
1999 1:42.69 Bruxelles (BEL) 03 SEP 1999
1998 1:44.44 Kuala Lumpur (MAS) 19 SEP 1998
1997 1:43.19 Köln (GER) 24 AUG 1997
1996 1:42.74 Atlanta, GA (USA) 31 JUL 1996
1995 1:45.36 Stellenbosch (RSA) 25 MAR 1995
1994 1:45.32 Stellenbosch (RSA) 23 FEB 1994
1993 1:45.46 Stuttgart (GER) 15 AUG 1993
1992 1:47.51 Seoul (KOR) 19 SEP 1992

Outdoor

1000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2003 2:20.50 Germiston (RSA) 24 JAN 2003
2002 2:16.57 Portland, OR (USA) 18 MAY 2002
2001 2:17.26 Nice (FRA) 09 JUL 2001
2000 2:16.47 Stockholm (SWE) 01 AUG 2000
1998 2:19.46 Stockholm (SWE) 05 AUG 1998

Outdoor

1500 Metres

Performance Place Date
2009 3:50.76 Port Elizabeth (RSA) 20 FEB 2009
2004 3:43.99 Port Elizabeth (RSA) 12 MAR 2004
2002 3:50.78 Durban (RSA) 22 MAR 2002
2001 3:41.73 Nijmegen (NED) 24 MAY 2001
2000 3:41.70 Stellenbosch (RSA) 18 FEB 2000
1999 3:38.47 Bellville (RSA) 27 FEB 1999
1998 3:38.53 Stellenbosch (RSA) 24 FEB 1998
1997 3:41.64 Cape Town (RSA) 08 APR 1997
1996 3:38.24 Cape Town (RSA) 12 APR 1996

Outdoor

One Mile

Performance Place Date
1997 4:02.00 Stellenbosch (RSA) 19 JAN 1997
1996 3:57.33 Stellenbosch (RSA) 16 FEB 1996
1995 3:57.33 Stellenbosch (RSA) 16 FEB 1995

Outdoor

3000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2001 8:21.58 Rustenburg (RSA) 22 JAN 2001

Outdoor

4x400 Metres Relay

Performance Place Date
2000 3:01.25 Sydney (AUS) 29 SEP 2000
1997 3:00.26 Athina (GRE) 10 AUG 1997

Outdoor

4x800 Metres Relay

Performance Place Date
1999 7:04.70 Stuttgart (GER) 06 JUN 1999

Indoor

800 Metres

Performance Place Date
2003/04 1:46.62 Stuttgart (GER) 31 JAN 2004
2002/03 1:45.12 Karlsruhe (GER) 28 FEB 2003
2001/02 1:45.65 Liévin (FRA) 24 FEB 2002
1992/93 1:50.79 Toronto (CAN) 12 MAR 1993

Indoor

1000 Metres

Performance Place Date
2002/03 2:18.82 Liévin (FRA) 23 FEB 2003

Honours - Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 800 Metres 1:42.74 Atlanta, GA (USA) 31 JUL 1996
4. 800 Metres 1:45.29 Sydney (AUS) 27 SEP 2000
6. 800 Metres 1:45.53 Athina (GRE) 28 AUG 2004

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 800 Metres 1:43.32 Sevilla (ESP) 29 AUG 1999
4. 4x400 Metres Relay 3:00.26 Athina (GRE) 10 AUG 1997
5. 800 Metres 1:45.64 Stuttgart (GER) 17 AUG 1993
7. 800 Metres 1:45.74 Paris (FRA) 31 AUG 2003
8. 800 Metres 1:46.68 Edmonton (CAN) 07 AUG 2001

Honours - World U20 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
5. 800 Metres 1:47.51 Seoul (KOR) 19 SEP 1992

Honours - African Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 800 Metres 1:45.55 Brazzaville (CGO) 17 JUL 2004

Honours - All-African Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. 800 Metres 1:45.58 Johannesburg (RSA) 16 SEP 1999
8. 800 Metres 1:49.79 Abuja (NGR) 13 OCT 2003

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
6. 800 Metres 1:46.61 Monaco (MON) 13 SEP 2003

Honours - Grand Prix Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 800 Metres 1:44.40 München (GER) 11 SEP 1999

Honours - Golden League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:44.71 Berlin (GER) 10 AUG 2003

Honours - Commonwealth Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. 800 Metres 1:44.44 Kuala Lumpur (MAS) 19 SEP 1998

Honours - World University Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:47.87 Fukuoka (JPN) 30 AUG 1995
2. 800 Metres 1:47.77 Catania (ITA) 28 AUG 1997

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. 800 Metres 1:46.76 Durban (RSA) 17 APR 2004
1. 1500 Metres 3:42.69 Durban (RSA) 03 MAR 2001
1. 800 Metres 1:47.20 Germiston (RSA) 07 MAR 1998
1. 800 Metres 1:45.79 Potchefstroom (RSA) 08 MAR 1997
Results in:

800 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
12 FEB 2009 Potchefstroom RSARSA F F1 1. 1:51.35
27 FEB 2009 Stellenbosch Yellow Pages Series RSARSA E F1 5. 1:48.8h
06 MAR 2009 Germiston Yellow Pages Series RSARSA E F1 4. 1:47.30
13 MAR 2009 Stellenbosch South African Ch. RSARSA B H1 2. 1:51.03
14 MAR 2009 Stellenbosch South African Ch. RSARSA B F 3. 1:46.38
04 APR 2009 Stellenbosch South African Univ Ch. RSARSA F F 2. 1:52.48
17 MAY 2009 Rio de Janeiro Grande Prêmio Rio Caixa de Atletismo BRABRA C F 10. 1:50.62
20 MAY 2009 Uberlandia Grande Prêmio Caixa Sesi de Atletismo BRABRA C F 8. 1:50.83
24 MAY 2009 Belém Grande Premio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo BRABRA B F 6. 1:47.00
14 JUL 2009 Reims Alma Athlé Tour FRAFRA E F 9. 1:49.16
18 JUL 2009 Zaragoza Gran Premio Gobierno de Aragón ESPESP C F1 10. 1:52.93

1500 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
20 FEB 2009 Port Elizabeth Yellow Pages Series RSARSA E F1 13. 3:50.76

3000 Metres

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
23 JAN 2009 Potchefstroom Yellow Pages Series RSARSA E F1 18. 8:35.9h


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.


Hezekiel Sepeng  (Sehpeng)   South Africa    (800m)

Born 30 June 1974, Potchefstroom (150 km  west of Johannesburg), North West Province, South Africa.   

1.82m/ 70 kg.  Lives in Potchefstroom.   Married, with two sons

Manager:  Jos Hermens;  Coach:  Jean Verster;   Club: Mr Price AC.  

South Africa’s top athlete of the 1990s, and, at 30, one of the most experienced middle distance runners in the Olympics. Multiple silver medalist in major championships: 1996 Olympics, 1994 and 1998 Commonwealth Games, 1999 World Championships, 2004 African Championships, plus numerous top-eight global finishes and dozens of sub-1:45 performances. One gold medal: 1995 World Student Games. Still dreams of the elusive gold and hopes to make it come true in Athens.     

Ezekiel (the correct spelling), grew up on a poultry farm outside Potchefstroom.  Started running in cross country events, where he was spotted by J.P. van der Merwe, a schoolmaster at prestigious Potchefstroom Boys High  School. This was just as apartheid was ending. Sepeng became the first black schoolboy enrolled at Van der Merwe’s school

Sepeng represented Western Transvaal (now Central North West) in 1992 South African Junior Championships in Cape Town and won the first of his many silver medals in the 800 (1:49.94) and 1500 (3:47.81). Nominated as reserve for 1992 Seoul World Junior Championships. Athletics South Africa offered to send reserves if money could be raised by schools, clubs and provinces. Enthusiastic response sent Sepeng on his way to South Africa’s first participation in a global event following the lifting of the IAAF’s 16-year ban. Sepeng finished 5th and set new national junior record of 1:47.51.        

Still a junior in 1993, finished 4th in the African Championships in Durban and 5th in Stuttgart World Championships (after having set  another NJR--1:45.46--in semi-final). In 1994 won the silver medal behind Patrick Konchellah of Kenya at Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada. A year later, at his second World Championships in Gothenburg, eliminated in semi-final, but won gold at World Student Games.

During buildup to 1996 Olympics, lowered long-standing national 800 record to 1:43.47 in pre-Games meeting in Durham (old record 1:43.7, set 1971 by Dicky Broberg; equaled 1973 by SA-born Marcello Fiasconaro). Improved record again in Atlanta Games final—1:42.74 (then #7 on All-Time list) for silver behind Vebjorn Rodal of Norway (1:42.69).

In 1997, eliminated in semi-final of Athens World Championships (1:44.91 in heat) but ran leg on South Africa’s 5th place 4 x 400m relay team. Finished 2nd in Zurich and Monaco GPs, won silver at World Student Games in Italy, and recorded 4th fastest time of year, 1:43.19. Added another silver to his collection in 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur (1:44.44, behind Kenya’s Japheth Kimutai). Frequently in conflict with federation over national vs. international commitments.

Edged for gold at 1999 Seville World Championships by defending champion and world record holder Wilson Kipketer (by 0.02 seconds over Sepeng’s 1:43.32). Ended the year with nine sub-1:45 clockings, 2nd  places in Zurich and Brussels and 3rd places in Berlin, Monaco, Rome and the All-Africa Games in Johannesburg. Set current SA record, 1:42.69, in Brussels behind Kipketer.

In his second Olympics, Sepeng had to settle for 4th place (1:45.29).  Best time of 2000 (1:43.98) ranked him #8 on the year. In 2001 he reached yet another global final in Edmonton World Championships but wound up 8th (1:46.68). In 2002, Sepeng was controversially withdrawn from SA team to Commonwealth Games in Manchester and also missed African Championships in Tunisia. For first time since 1998, failed to run faster than 1:44, though he still managed 2nd in Rome and 3rd in Monaco GLs.

Returned from Johannesburg to home-town Potchefstroom and engaged well-known middle-distance runner Jean Verster as his new coach. 2003 turned out to be a very good year. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi assumed role of South Africa’s top 800m runner, taking pressure off Sepeng, who finished in the top-three in four Golden League meetings, winning Berlin. In the Paris World Championships, unfortunately, he had to settle for 7th (1:45.74; Mulaudzi was 3rd), and later finished 6th (1:46.61) in the World Athletics Final and 8th at the All-Africa Games in Nigeria. He ended 2003 at #5 in the IAAF Rankings.       

Sepeng once again had differences with Athletics South Africa in 2004 before being included in the team for Athens, but he showed himself ready to perform.. He beat an off-form Mulaudzi to win the National Championships/ Olympic trials (1:46.76), finished 2nd in the African Championships in Brazzaville (1:45.55), and notched top-5 finishes in Rome (2nd  1:43.94), Lausanne (4th  1:45.11) and Zurich (5th  1:44.38). In Athens, he advanced easliy from his heat but just squeeked into the final as the slower of two time qualifiers (1:44.75). The slowish first lap of the final (51:84) seemed well suited to Sepeng’s accustomed home-stretch heroics, but his protégé Mulaudzi took better advantage (2nd in 1:44.61) while Sepeng drifted back to 6th in 1:45.73. A slow 11th in Brussels (1:45.29), where Sepeng normally does well, showed the effect of a long season. Will the two weeks off make him a new man for the WAF?

South African Senior titles: 800m (5) -1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2004 ;  1500m (1) - 2001.   

National senior records (3):  1:43.47 (1996), 1:42.74 (1996), 1:42.69 (1999).  Still holds SA Junior record: 1:45.46 (1993).   Also 4 x 800m – African, SA record 7:04.70 (#2 All-Time), Stuttgart, 1999.

Yearly progression, 800m:  1992 – 1:47.51,  1993 – 1:45.46,  1994 – 1:45.32,  1995 – 1:45.36,  1996 – 1:42.74, 1997 – 1:43.19,  1998 – 1:44.44,  1999 – 1:42.69;  2000 – 1:43.98,  2001 – 1:43.47;  2002 – 1:44.39,  2003 – 1:43.12,  2004 – 1:43.94

Other PBs:  1000m – 2:16.47 (2000);  1500m – 3:38.24 (1996).    Indoor 800m – 1:45.12 (2003).

Sepeng is known in South African track circles for quiet acts of generosity to friends and family. In particular, he has provided financial help to fellow runners in need and to youngsters getting their start on the international scene.

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

Latest Hezekiel SEPENG News