Tokyo Olympics

SA's Maswanganyi, Jobodwana take some positives after missing out on 200m final

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South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana
South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana
Anton Geyser/SASPA/SASI

South African sprinters Shaun Maswanganyi and Anaso Jobodwana say they will learn from their mistakes after failing to advance to the 200m final on Tuesday.

Jobodwana and Maswanganyi were joined by Clarence Munyai in the men's 200m semi-finals, but all three failed to progress to the event's finale at the Olympic Stadium.

Running in the first semi-final, Jobodwana couldn't push through and finished last in a time of 20.88.

"It's just learning, it's been a while that I've been back at this level. There's a lot to learn, you can never stop learning so just happy to be here so I can know what to do for next season. No complaints," Jobodwana told Sport24 after his round.

It was a better showing for Jobodwana, who failed to make the semi-finals at the 2016 Rio Games.

He admitted that while he isn't getting any faster, he is delighted to make the semi-final in Tokyo.

"Time-wise, it isn't really good as I've ran faster (back then). I wasn't happy with my times this year and my battery was low, I wasn't able to hit the ground properly... Not to make excuses, my season was topsy turvy, my body wasn't in a really good space," he said.

"I'm happy to make the semi-final and it tells me that even with a bad season, I can still do well and keep on building from this." 

In the second semi-final, Munyai finished sixth place in a time of 20.49.

And in the final and faster third semi-final, Maswanganyi finished fourth in 20.18, which was not enough to see him through to Wednesday's final.

"I didn't execute the race to the best of my abilities, coming off the turn, I had a bit of an awkward step and I tried to readjust," Maswanganyi said.

"I was trying to run and be there with Andre, but I lost too much momentum in the turn and I couldn't maximise and I started to feel a lot towards the end. I'm disappointed, but I ran close to my PB even after a messed up race so coming into next season, I know what to work on. I finished off quite strong."

A motivated Maswanganyi hopes to learn from his mistakes and improves for 2024.

"My goal was to make both finals and unfortunately, I came up short but considering that I haven't seen my coach for the last eight weeks, I've just been speaking to him on the phone, it's been tough, training alone," he said.

"I think we can still work around and hopefully, we can do something special. I know exactly what to work on (for 2024). I'm motivated now more than ever and just to be on the world stage in my first international competition is a privilege."

*Lynn Butler is in Tokyo covering the Olympic Games for Sport24

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