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SA men miss out on a 4x400m relay final spot

06 August 2021 - 14:54 By david isaacson
Lythe Pillay of Team SA competes in the Men's 4x400m relay heats on day 14 of the Tokyo Olympic Games on August 6 2021.
Lythe Pillay of Team SA competes in the Men's 4x400m relay heats on day 14 of the Tokyo Olympic Games on August 6 2021.
Image: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The men’s 4x400m relay team ran a season’s best in their heat at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday‚ but that was not enough to qualify for Saturday’s final.

Lythe Pillay‚ Zakiti Nene‚ Ranti Dikgali and Thapelo Phora clocked 3min 01.18sec to finish seventh in the second eliminator of the night‚ beating only Colombia.

Six of the eight qualifying teams ran faster than the 2:59.21 SA record set in the heats at the 2011 world championships. SA went on to win silver there‚ but were seventh at London 2012 in 3:03.46.

Overall‚ SA were the 12th-quickest in Tokyo‚ ahead of even Great Britain.

The US were the fastest in 2:57.77‚ ahead of Botswana in a 2:58.33 African record.

Earlier‚ track cyclist Charlene du Preez made it to the round of 32 in the Women’s Sprint‚ but was pushed into the repechage and eliminated.

“I’m very happy to have gone under 11 seconds and to have qualified [for the round of 32]‚” she said.

“I gave it my best‚ [but] there’s still a lot to learn.”

Marc Mundell battled hard at the back of the 50km race walk field to finish 40th in 4hr 14min 37sec‚ a determined effort in an event where 20% of the field didn’t finish the race.


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