Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
20 May 2019
12:15 pm

Munyai gets career back on track

Wesley Botton

One of SA's brightest talents delivered a promising performance in Shanghai at the weekend.

Clarence Munyai. Photo: Gallo Images.

After returning to form with a solid performance at the weekend, sprinter Clarence Munyai believes he is back on track as he targets a podium place at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Munyai competed at the 2016 Rio Games, at the age of 18, and went on to set a national 200m record of 19.69 seconds in Pretoria in March last year.

Having missed out on the second half of the 2018 season with a hamstring injury, Munyai bounced back in style by grabbing third place in the half-lap dash at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on Saturday.

The 21-year-old speedster crossed the line in 20.37 sec, and though he was 0.30 sec off the pace of Canadian winner Aaron Brown, Munyai was delighted to have put up a fight.

“The time is my season’s best, so I feel excited,” Munyai said.

“The Stockholm Diamond League [next week] is in my plans, and the long term goal is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

Though the men’s 200m race was not an official Diamond League event, sprinter Akani Simbine and long jumper
Ruswahl Samaai also earned podium places in other disciplines, pocketing valuable points in the series standings.

Simbine fought hard in a thrilling battle, dipping under 10 sec in his first 100m race of the year.

He rocketed over the line in 9.95 sec to take third place, with American athlete Noah Lyles securing victory in 9.86 sec.

And Samaai also did well to finish third in the men’s long jump.

Landing at 8.14m with his final attempt, he fell 10 centimetres short of Jamaican athlete Tajay Gayle’s winning leap.

Meanwhile, Zarck Visser settled for sixth place in the long jump with a best effort of 7.90m, while Antonio Alkana finished eighth in the men’s 110m hurdles race in 13.47 sec, and Sunette Viljoen was eighth in the women’s javelin with a 57.56m throw.

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