- Team South Africa's Commonwealth Games medal hopes have unfortunately taken a big dent
- There has been a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp, which has seen three athletes withdraw
- Sprinters Clarence Munyai and Emile Erasmus were two of these three, and were vital components of the formidable 400x100m relay team
South Africa’s hopes of garnering a medal in the 4x100m relay on the Commonwealth Games track were handed a massive blow on Day 5.
Several track and field athletes contracted Covid-19, forcing their withdrawal from the competition.
Team SA said in a statement:
“Team SA’s track and field athletes have been affected by a number of withdrawals which has affected the schedule. Three key athletes, Clarence Munyai, Emile Erasmus (both sprinters) and Kyle Rademeyer (pole vault), have all been withdrawn from the team after contracting Covid-19.
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“The 2022 Commonwealth Games track and field programme starts on Tuesday in Birmingham, but the three athletes have been withdrawn on medical grounds. Another Team SA star, Zakhiti Nene, also has symptoms and will be retested today."
Munyai and Erasmus form part of the 4x100m team, including defending 100m champion Akani Simbine, that was a favourite for finishing on the podium.
Simbine qualified for the men's 100 semifinals after winning his heat in a time of 10.10 seconds.
He said to SuperSport.com:
“I think we’re hitting a peak right now. I ran a season’s best at world champs and I’m really happy with where we are right now going into the Commonwealth Games. I’m the defending champion here so I came here ready to fight.”
“When I step on that line I want to win, and I want to win with a statement. That’s what I’m coming out here to do, to win and retain my title.”
2022 Commonwealth Games athletics: Full Team Africa Day 6 schedule
Africa's representatives will look for a strong showing on Day 6 in the athletics programme of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
As reported by Sports Brief, the continent traditionally starts flexing its muscles on the track and field, with Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo breaking the 10 000m record on the way to gold yesterday.
The 100m men's and women's finals will certainly take the centre stage, with the likes of Ferdinand Omanyala, Akani Simbine - men -, Grace Nwokocha and Rosemary Chukwuma - women - ready to take a crack at the podium.
Source: Sports Brief News