Clarence Munyai cracks world championship qualifier in Ostrava

20 June 2019 - 21:24 By David Isaacson
Clarence Munyai finished third in the men’s 200m.
Clarence Munyai finished third in the men’s 200m.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

Clarence Munyai took SA’s only podium spot at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava on Thursday night as he finished third behind two world-class runners in the men’s 200m.

Canada’s double Olympic sprint medallist at Rio 2016‚ Andre De Grasse‚ stormed to victory in 19.91sec ahead of American Christian Coleman in 19.97. 

Munyai stopped the clock on 20.31‚ the only South African on the night to achieve an Athletics SA qualifying time for the world championships in Doha later this year.  

ASA has set qualifying criteria in 28 of the 44 individual events that are tougher than those imposed by the sport’s world governing body‚ the IAAF. 

Munyai was exactly on the ASA mark of 20.31.

Akani Simbine‚ who already has an ASA qualifier in the 100m‚ had to settle for a tame fourth place‚ despite clocking a decent 10.08sec. 

American Mike Rodgers won in 10.04 ahead of De Grasse (10.05) and China’s Xie Zhenye (10.06). 

Compatriot Simon Magakwe was sixth in 10.16. 

For Simbine‚ who owns the 9.89 SA record‚ his effort was his slowest 100m of the 2019 season so far‚ following a 9.95 in Shanghai last month and 9.92 in the Boston festival sprint on Sunday. 

At least Simbine was inside the IAAF’s 10.10 qualifying mark for the world championships in Doha from September 27 to October 6.

Not one of the other SA contingent managed to crack an IAAF qualifying mark in the Czech Republic. 

Thando Dlodlo took second in the men’s 100m B race‚ crossing the line in 10.24. Countrymen Thando Roto and Henricho Bruintjies were fourth and fifth in 10.29 and 10.34. For Bruintjies‚ that was a season’s best. 

All three have faster personal bests‚ with 20-year-old Dlodlo at 10.11 and the other two sub-10‚ but they’re still a way off. 

Tapelo Phora was fourth in the men’s 400m in 46.14. 

To date‚ Simbine and now Munyai are the only sprinters to have made ASA qualifying marks across the three men’s sprint events from 100m to 400m. 

Simbine also anchored the SA 4x100m to victory in the relay‚ crossing the line in 38.65 ahead of an All Stars team (38.81) and the hosts‚ Czech Republic (38.99). 

Bruintjies started the relay‚ followed by Magakwe and Dlodlo. 

Tshepo Tshite was fifth in the 800m in 1:46.18. 

And Orazio Cremona was eighth in the men’s shot put with a best heave of 19.57m‚ way off the 21.51 he threw in Germiston in April.​