South Africa’s 4x100m relay team ensured Akani Simbine will have another shot at a medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest after being disqualified from his 100m semifinal. The quartet of Shaun Maswanganyi, Benjamin Richardson, Clarence Munyai, and Simbine produced a slick performance to finish second in their heat in 37.72 and book a place in Saturday night’s final.
Speaking afterwards, Simbine said: “It was good. It feels good to run, it feels good to race, it feels good to be able to be on the track again… I’m happy, happy for the guys, happy for the team, and excited for tomorrow.”
This was Munyai’s first performance at these World Championships, having skipped the individual events. The SA 200m record holder said afterwards: “I was quite excited to be honest because they’ve been running and I also wanted to get out there and come compete. For me it was more excitement than nerves so I’m quite happy.
“We did quite well as a team, we executed and we all ran our legs quite well. We came out here and we wanted to qualify for the final and put a solid time out there… It was good [baton] changes throughout and as a team we trusted each other and I think we did a good job.”
There was disappointment for Prudence Sekgodiso later in the evening in the 800m semifinals. The 21-year-old looked to be in the perfect position to make a move, but around the 450m mark, she clipped the heels of the runner in front of her and fell to the track and out of contention. She nevertheless managed to pick herself up and finish the race.
In the women’s javelin final, Jo-Ané fell short of her own expectation, her best on the night was a third-round throw of 57.43m to finish in 10th place.
“For me, it was just amazing to be in the final. It was great, it was really what I planned to come and do here but I’m a little disappointed with how I performed. I think there’s a lot more that I could have done but on the day I didn’t do what I could. I had a little problem with my rhythm in the first and second throws so it just wasn’t my day today but it was a great competition and always good to get the experience of being on the world stage.”
Earlier in the day, fellow javelin thrower Douw Smit’s best effort was 75.03m in qualification was not enough to see him through to the final.
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