Athletics

Team SA's troubles continue in Doha

Clarence Munyai (Getty Images)
Clarence Munyai (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South Africa's troubles at the 2019 IAAF World Championships continued on Day 4 in Doha on Monday.

Clarence Munyai and Anaso Jobodwana, running in the semi-finals of the men's 200m, both failed to reach the final after indifferent performances.

National half-lap record holder Munyai stunned the world when he became the 10th-fastest 200m runner of all time in posting 19.69 at the SA national championships in 2018.

Sadly, ever since, Munyai has failed to live up to expectations - highlighted once again in Doha.

Competing in the first semi-final, Munyai finished a distant sixth out of the seven starters in a pedestrian 20.55.

Faring slightly better, Jobodwana, the bronze medal winner in the same event in Beijing in 2015, finished fifth in the third and final semi-final in a time of 20.34.

When all was said and done, Jobodwana's time wound up as the 14th-fastest with Munyai 17th-quickest among the 22 athletes to take to the start.

Predictably, American star Noah Lyles posted the fastest time heading into the final, stopping the clock in 19.86.

Meanwhile, off the track and in the field, veteran javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen, fast approaching her 36th birthday, had to be content with the 17th-furthest throw in qualification, 80cm behind the 12th - and final - qualifier for the final.

Elsewhere, there was slightly better news for Team SA in the heats of the men's 110m hurdles, where Antonio Alkana (13.41) finished third in Heat 1 - and ninth overall - to ease into Tuesday's semi-finals.

Ruan de Vries struggled to 14.07 which was only good enough for the 33rd out of the 39 starters.

Team SA has already seen star long jump duo Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai - the gold and bronze medal winners, respectively, from the last world championships in London in 2017 - stumble to fourth and fifth place 24 months later.

Akani Simbine also found himself out of the 100m medals, narrowly finishing fourth in the world championships' blue riband event.

Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk, who were responsible for four of South Africa's six medals in London, are not competing in Doha.

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