Cape Town – Sprinter Luxolo Adams has been officially withdrawn from the Team South Africa athletics squad for the Commonwealth Games, but fellow speedster Henricho Bruintjies must avail himself for the competition next week.
Adams, who will celebrate his 26th birthday on Monday August 1, produced an outstanding performance at the world athletics championships in Eugene, Oregon last week.
In what was his first worlds, Adams advanced to the 200m final after clocking 20.10 seconds in his heat and 20.09 in the semi-final.
But his coach, Gerrie Posthumus, told IOL Sport on Wednesday that Adams sustained a groin injury in the final, where he battled on the home straight to finish eighth in 20.47 – well short of his personal best of 19.82, which he produced in late June at the Paris Diamond League.
Team SA said in a statement on Wednesday that Adams was withdrawn due to “fatigue”, and has not been replaced in the squad for Birmingham. He was due to run in the 200m heats on Thursday August 4.
While Posthumus said that Adams might be feeling tired from the three tough races at Hayward Field in Oregon, he is nursing a groin problem as well.
“Lux is still on the plane to Venice, and from there, he will go to Gemona (in Italy). He will do a sonar scan on the groin injury that we think he had,” Posthumus told IOL Sport from Gqeberha on Wednesday.
“When he ran that bend in the final – he had the fastest reaction time from the blocks as well – he said to me at the 150m mark, he felt pain in the groin. He was afraid that he was going to injure it badly, but didn’t want to stop in a final at worlds – so he just ran through to finish the race.
“There was something wrong. He will go to Gemona by bus after landing in Venice, and then tomorrow, he will do the sonar scan. Then we will the result. The physio at the worlds said they think there is a little bit of a tear, but they are not sure. They needled him, but we need a sonar scan, which has been booked for Thursday.”
Adams was being earmarked for a few Diamond League events over the next few weeks as well, but that may not happen now due to the groin injury.
“I am going to let him fly back. Lux is not in a good spot after that visa thing. He could’ve run the heat and the semi in a sub-20 easily, but he was not in a good spot there,” Posthumus said.
“That upset him a lot, and that’s why some of the others didn’t even make the semis.”
There is still uncertainty about Bruintjies’ participation at the Commonwealth Games, after he posted on social media a few days ago that he won’t be going to Birmingham, due to his omission from the SA 4x100m relay team for the worlds final in Oregon.
When IOL Sport asked Athletics South Africa whether Bruintjies – who won a 100m silver medal at the 2018 event in Gold Coast, Australia, behind champion Akani Simbine – will be part of the 4x100m relay in the UK next week, a spokesperson said that his withdrawal had not been accepted.
“There will be no replacement because he (Bruintjies) is expected to travel and participate.
“He did send a letter of withdrawal from the athletics team, but ASA has informed him that his withdrawal letter has been rejected, because there is no valid reason for it.
“ASA has also taken note of the reasons that he published through his social media account, and that formed in part the basis of refusal of the withdrawal.”
Team SA announced on Wednesday that African hammer throw champion Alan Cumming had been added to the squad, so he will compete alongside Tshepang Makhethe in the qualifying round on Thursday August 4.
In addition, there have been a few withdrawals and replacements in other sports:
- Cricket: Marizanne Kapp (personal reasons), Trisha Chetty (injured)
- Cycling: Nicholas Dlamini (injured), replaced by Callum Ormiston
- Mountain Biking: Mariska Strauss (Covid-19), Alan Hatherly (scheduling of races)
- Para-athletics: Ernst van Dyk (injured), replaced in the para-marathon by Tiaan Bosch
- Triathlon: Nicholas Quenet (injured), replaced by Dylan Nortje.